Rather have a look at the front page of yesterday's New York Times,
However since the revelation of its existence yesterday in the Times, the global scourge of Candida auris, or C. auris.
In truth the story of C. auris has all the elements of a horror story. Except that this story is true.
An elderly man admitted to Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City was diagnosed with a mysterious infection. After 90 days in the hospital the man died, but what killed him did not. Tests showed that the C. auris fungus was everywhere in his room: the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump, the mattress, the bed rails, canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling. Special cleaning equipment was needed and ceiling and floor tiles had to be ripped out to eradicate it.
In the Royal Brompton Hospital in London there was an outbreak of a mysterious, seemingly invincible fungus identified as C. auris. From where or how the C. auris arrived no one knew, but it spread throughout the hosptial like wildfire, infecting 72 patients in the intensive care unit. An infectious disease expert was called in to help the hospital clean out the fungus. The infectious disease expert had hospital workers set up a specialized device to spray aerosolized hydrogen peroxide around a room infested with C. auris. They left the device going for a week. At the end of the week every microbe in the room had been killed. Except for the C. auris. It was still growing.
In a hospital in Valencia, Spain, 372 patients tested positive for C. auris on their bodies. Eighty-five of them developed bloodstream infections. Forty-one percent died within a month.
And while hospitals and governments have struggled to keep the existence of this insidious drug-resistant super-fungus under wraps it has been proliferating and spreading around the world.
Where Candida auris came from has not yet been determined. "It is a creature from the black lagoon," said Dr. Tom Chiller of the CDC. "It bubbled up and now it is everywhere."
The belief, however, is that the C. auris outbreak is just another example of a drug-resistant germ borne of the medical and commercial over-use and misuse of antibiotics and antifungals. The current theory is that C. auris is resistant to antifungal treatments because of the ubiquitous commercial use of fungicides and pesticides on crops. Types of pesticides known as azoles are used on virtually every crop that's grown and have created such a hostile environment for fungi that the fungi are evolving and resistant strains are surviving, among them C. auris. And at this point the azoles used in crop sprays are essentially the same as are used in antifungal medicines. And the same that the C. auris is resistant to.
At this point the only defense against C. auris appears to be good-old-fashioned hand-washing,