A recent press release from CDC highlighted the increasing threat of Candida auris (C. auris) because it is often antimicrobial resistant (available treatments may not work), can cause severe disease, including death, and is spreading among healthcare facilities in the United States. Arizona identified its first clinical case of C. auris in 2020, and there have been 37 cases so far in 2023. 

The ADHS Office of Healthcare-Associated Infections and the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory are aware of the threat of C. auris and are working in collaboration with federal partners and local health departments to support healthcare facilities in preventing and containing the spread of C. auris. Public health officials respond to each case of C. auris and collaborate with healthcare facilities to provide guidance and implement response activities such as enhanced surveillance, inter-facility and intra-facility communication, infection prevention and control assessments, identifying potentially exposed individuals, and increasing screening efforts. 

You can help stop the spread of Candida auris and other antimicrobial-resistant germs. Hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick. If you are visiting someone in a healthcare facility, wash your hands before and after visiting. Encourage the patient and everyone around the patient to wash their hands. Healthcare facilities can also follow key recommendations to do their part. 

It is important to note that healthy people usually don’t get C. auris infections. Individuals at high risk of C. auris infections include patients who already have many medical problems, have had frequent hospital stays or live in nursing homes, and/or have weakened immune systems. 

Please visit the ADHS Candida auris webpage or the CDC Candida auris website for additional information.