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Candida Auris Infection

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about a Candida auris (C. auris) infection?

C. auris is a type of fungus that can live on a person's body without causing health problems. The fungus can cause an ear, wound, or bloodstream infection. An infection can become severe in a patient who is in a hospital or nursing home. C. auris can be spread through contact with an object or surface that has the fungus on it. It can also spread from person to person. C. auris can become resistant to antifungal medicines. This can make an infection hard to treat.

What increases my risk for a C. auris infection?

  • A long stay in the hospital, or living in a long-term care facility
  • A tube or line in your body, such as an IV, feeding tube, or catheter
  • Past treatment with antibiotics or antifungal medicines
  • A weak immune system
  • Being treated in the ICU

What are the signs and symptoms of a C. auris infection?

A bloodstream infection can cause confusion or other mental problems. Without treatment, it can lead to a coma and become life-threatening. An infection in another part of your body can cause any of the following:

  • An ear infection that causes pain, fluid, and loss of hearing
  • A fever and chills
  • Feeling tired and weak (fatigue)
  • A wound infection
  • In women, itching and drainage from your vagina

How is a C. auris infection diagnosed and treated?

  • Diagnosis can be difficult. The signs and symptoms can be mistaken for other health problems. Your blood or other body fluids may be tested for C. auris. This depends on where the infection is in your body.
  • Treatment depends on where you have the infection, and your overall health. Antifungal medicines are used to treat an infection. You may be given several types of antifungal medicines if the C. auris in your body becomes resistant.

How is a C. auris infection managed or prevented?

Healthcare providers may use contact precautions to prevent the spread of C. auris from you to others:

  • Keep your hands clean. Hand sanitizer that contains alcohol is the best way to prevent a C. auris infection. You can also wash your hands with soap and running water. Everyone who comes to visit you needs to clean his or her hands before and after leaving. All healthcare providers will also clean their hands before and after giving you care.
    Handwashing
  • Precautions will be used in your room. Healthcare providers will wear gowns and gloves while giving care. They will leave medical devices such as a stethoscope in your room. These measures will help prevent your providers from carrying C. auris from you to other patients.
  • You will stay in your room unless you get other directions. You may be able to leave if tests are needed, with a doctor's order.
  • Healthcare providers will limit use of some devices and medicines. Devices such as catheters will only be used when needed. The devices will be cleaned often while in use and removed as soon as possible. Providers will also limit the use of antibiotics, or only use certain kinds.
  • Ask about vaccines you may need. Vaccines can help prevent certain infections. The flu vaccine is given each year, usually starting in September or October. Ask about other vaccines you may need, such as vaccines to prevent pneumonia, COVID-19, and meningitis.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have a fever and chills that continue after treatment.
  • Someone in your home develops signs and symptoms of a C. auris infection.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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