New York names facilities that treated drug-resistant fungus
NEW YORK (AP) — New York is the first state to release the names of medical facilities that have treated patients with a deadly, drug-resistant fungus that is spreading.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that 64 hospitals, 103 long-term care nursing homes, a long-term care hospital and three hospice units in New York have cared for patients with an especially virulent germ called Candida auris. Most of the patients were in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
The Times said New York health officials disclosed the names of the facilities because Candida auris has been spreading quickly.
Michael Craig, an antibiotic resistance expert for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the newspaper that someone in the United States dies of a resistant infection every 15 minutes.
The Times said Candida auris has been such a secretive subject that various governments have declined to identify or confirm the names of hospitals and nursing homes where the fungus was present, or even to discuss cases after families or physicians confirmed them.
New York health officials said they decided to disclose the names of the facilities with cases in the state over the past three years to help stop its spread and provide transparency to the public. However, the state did not say how many cases were at each institution.
More than 800 cases of the fungus have been recorded in the United States — about half of them in New York.
The Candida auris germ tends to resist major antifungal medications and is often found in patients with weak immune systems. About half of those who are infected tend to already be in poor health and die within three months.
Information from: The New York Times, http://www.newyorktimes.com