We are having an outbreak of Candida auris in my facility. Is this a problem in other skilled care facilities?

Candidemia, a bloodstream infection with Candida, is a common infection in hospitalized patients. Unlike Candida infections in the mouth and throat (also called “thrush”) or vaginal “yeast infections,” invasive candidiasis is a serious infection that can affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones and other parts of the body.

Specialized laboratory methods are needed to accurately identify C. auris. Conventional laboratory techniques could lead to misidentification and inappropriate management, making it difficult to control the spread of C. auris in healthcare settings. Common risk factors for invasive candidiasis include central venous catheters, use of immunosuppressive agents, use of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, renal failure or hemodialysis, and neutropenia. As with most other infections, hand washing is the best way to avoid contamination and cross-contaminations. Learn more at cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/hand-hygiene/index.html

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who develop invasive candidiasis are often already sick from other medical conditions, so it can be difficult to know which symptoms are related to a Candida infection. 

However, the most common symptoms of invasive candidiasis are fever and chills that don’t improve after antibiotic treatment for suspected bacterial infections. Other symptoms can develop if the infection spreads to other parts of the body, such as the heart, brain, eyes, bones or joints. That is why good hand hygiene is so important especially for our compromised residents!