The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven is preparing for a possible outbreak of the fungus Candida auris with the help of the RadboudUMC in Nijmegen.
The institute’s spokesperson confirms this to RTV Utrecht. The fungus, which can be dangerous to humans, appears to be on the rise in America, but is also increasing in neighboring countries, according to RIVM. Candida auris (C. auris) is a rare yeast that is difficult to treat because it develops resistance to antifungal drugs. Infection with this fungus can be fatal.
C. auris is related to the better known Candida albicans, which can cause vaginal yeast infections in women. Auris appears to be less pathogenic than albicans, but both are often life-threatening once they enter the bloodstream, according to researchers at Radboud university medical center in Nijmegen. People with healthy immune systems can usually eradicate the fungus on their own. This fungus mainly affects people with a weakened immune system. Then the infection is also serious: People with a compromised immune system can become seriously ill and even die from Candida auris. People with an invasive C. auris fungal infection have a thirty to sixty percent chance of dying from it.
Five cases in the Netherlands
Five cases of fungal infections have been diagnosed in the Netherlands in the past five years. According to the RIVM spokesperson, these are all people who contracted the fungus abroad. They are not tired. The fungus was discovered because they visited a hospital in the Netherlands after their travels and were properly screened for possible infections due to their recent visit abroad.
Source: Health Net
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