Statement on Candida Auris (C. auris) from DPH
April 9, 2019According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. C. auris causes severe illness in hospitalized patients in several countries, including the United States. Patients can remain colonized with C. auris for a long time and C. auris can persist on surfaces in healthcare environments. This can result in spread of C. auris between patients in healthcare facilities.”
In June 2017, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) investigated a case of Candida auris (C. auris) infection in a Connecticut acute care hospital. DPH coordinated with the hospital staff to ensure adequate disinfection and prevention of further C. auris infections. A high level of awareness and rapid diagnosis contributed to the containment of spread.
The Connecticut DPH added C. auris to the List of Reportable Laboratory Findings in January 2018. No additional C. auris infections have been found in Connecticut. Only a laboratory test can diagnose C. auris infection.
In November 2017, the Katherine A. Kelley State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL) began offering C. auris testing to accurately identify C. auris from specimens submitted from Connecticut healthcare facilities. In April 2019, SPHL began offering a C. auris screening test to help healthcare facilities identify high-risk patients who might be carrying the fungus. Antifungal susceptibility testing for Candida species is expected to start in May 2019 to identify treatment options for patients with C. auris infections.
Screening for C. auris when indicated, ensuring rapid and accurate identification of Candida auris, and institution of appropriate infection control are the keys to preventing C. auris infections.