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Hospitals Are No Place for the Sick

Hospital infectionsWe've always known that hospitals were full of germs but this recent report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gives us cause for even greater concern.

The CDC this week has sent out an alert to all hospital and healthcare facilities to be on the look-out for a new strain of drug resistant yeast known as Candida auris which cause blood, ear and wound infections with a 60% mortality rate. Although it can be deadly to anyone that contracts the infection, those who suffer with from diabetes, have just had surgery, are on powerful antibiotics or anti fungal medications, or people with any type of  catheter are particularly susceptible.

"CDC is concerned that C. auris will emerge in new locations, including the United States," the alert said. The infections have most commonly been acquired in hospitals and occurred several weeks into a patient's hospital stay.  There are three major concerns with this infections.  The first, according to Tom Chiller, the CDC top fungus expert, is that "this one seems to get into hospital settings and stay there".  The likely reason for this is because unlike the common strains of yeast that passed by human contact, C. auris can spread simply from coming in contact with contaminated equipment or surfaces within the hospital or healthcare facility.  The second major problem is that it is hard to laboratories to distinguish between this new strain and the more common forms of yeast which could result in misdiagnosis by doctors. The third and most important consideration with the type of infection is the medical profession's inability to treat it. "What concerned us is that it is potentially resistant to one or two, if not all three" main classes of anti-fungal drugs used to treat these infections, said Tom Chiller.

So how can we apply this knowledge to avoid such an unwanted result in our visits to the hospital? Virginia hospitals, as well as hospitals in 27 other states, are required by law to report "hospital acquired infection" (HAI) rates to the state's Department of Health.  These reports are a matter of public record so this information can be obtained prior to choosing where you want to seek treatment for any ailment you might have now or in the future.  We pride ourselves on being a resource to clients about issues of importance to them and their loved ones. Why not call or register online for one of our seminars on this and other timely topics. 

Reference: Chicago Tribune (June 28, 2016) “Health officials: A deadly, drug-resistant yeast infection is spreading worldwide”

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