What Is C. Auris?
Candida auris (C. auris) is a fungus (also called a yeast) that can cause large outbreaks among medically vulnerable patients in healthcare facilities.
Candida auris was first identified in 2009, is often resistant to many of the medications used to treat fungal infections, and spreads easily in healthcare facilities.
Candida auris is part of a large family of yeast that can colonize and infect the body. You may have heard of Candida albicans, the most common cause of vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush.
C. auris can spread quickly from person to person in healthcare facilities. It can spread from:
- healthcare workers hands
- healthcare equipment
It is resistant to some of the common disinfectants used in healthcare facilities and requires special cleaning products. C. auris is not likely to spread if healthcare facilities have strong infection prevention programs.
Most people are not at risk from C. auris, including:
- most patients in healthcare facilities
- family members of C. auris patients
- healthcare workers
- the general public
Outbreaks most commonly occur in certain types of healthcare facility in the US where patients stay for a long time, have tubes entering their bodies, and need long term respiratory support, including:
- long term acute care hospitals (LTACH)
- ventilator capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNF)
People can become colonized with C. auris, meaning they have it in or on their body but have no symptoms. Colonized people who have tubes entering their body have a 5-10% chance of developing an infection due to C. auris. Based on the experience of other states, approximately 1 in 3 patients with C. auris infection dies. Since the patients who get C. auris infections are medically fragile, it can be difficult to know if they died due to C. auris infection or due to their underlying medical conditions.
Testing for Candida Auris
DOH can perform testing for C. auris in people with risk factors. If you have questions about C. auris, please contact your local health jurisdiction.
For the public
For Healthcare Facilities, Providers, and Public Health