Australia Fungus fears after Melbourne hospital patient gets superbug infection

06:30  07 august  2018
06:30  07 august  2018 Source:   theage.com.au

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A deadly " superbug " is slowly invading hospitals in the Northeast. The fungus has caused bloodstream, wound and ear infections . The CDC issued a report six months ago saying the fungus had been found in 13 people and was linked to four hospital patient deaths in the U.S.

Fungal Nail Infections Tinea Unguium. Authored by Dr Oliver Starr, 14 May 2018. Patient is a certified member of The Information Standard. In about a further 2 in 10 cases the fungus will be cleared from the nail after treatment but the nail does not look fully normal again.

An example of a superbug.© Supplied An example of a superbug. An elderly Victorian man has been been placed in isolation after he was diagnosed with a rare and deadly superbug at a Melbourne hospital.

The man has been infected with a fungus called Candida auris, or C. auris, which is highly resistant to treatment and can cause serious infections in wounds, the bloodstream and ears.

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Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton said it was the first known case of the superbug in the state.

“The Department of Health and Human Services is working very closely with health services and public health laboratories to take a ‘search and destroy’ approach to ensure it does not spread ... or cause an outbreak,” Dr Sutton said.

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A local patient infected with a " superbug " fungus died from "complex medical issues" several weeks after coming to Rochester General Hospital , according The local patient initially arrived at RGH with symptoms of sepsis, so "right away, doctors knew the patient had some sort of infection ," Brown said.

And Schuchat fears it could spread. The superbug poses a “catastrophic threat” to the public Health officials have warned US clinicians to watch for the fungus in hospitals . Schuchat believes health officials “have to do better with infection control” when it comes to containing superbugs of all kinds.

The man, aged in his 70s, who was at the Melbourne hospital being treated for another condition, is likely to have contracted the bug at a hospital in the UK.

“The man was isolated as soon as the diagnosis was made and intense cleaning and disinfection has occurred," Dr Sutton said.

“Routine screening of other patients on the hospital ward will now take place, although it is unlikely that others have been exposed because the patient was cared for in a single room."

The health department said C. auris was much less common than other types of candida, such as Candida albicans which can cause yeast infections, including vaginal thrush.

However, C. auris can cause problems in hospitals and nursing homes as it can spread from one patient to another or via objects.

Elderly or unwell patients who have been in contact with the fungus can develop severe and potentially fatal infections.  However, most healthy people will not become sick and should not be concerned.

Discovered in 2009, C. auris has spread quickly and caused infections in more than a dozen countries.

A Chief Health Officer’s alert has been issued advising health services of the steps clinicians can take if they suspect a patient may be affected.

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