Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fungal Disease Awareness Week: Aug 14th - 18th


In the world of infectious diseases viruses and bacteria get most of our attention, but as we've seen numerous times over the years, fungal infections can exact a heavy toll as well. 
So much so, that next week the CDC is asking health care providers and their patients to `Think Fungus' when infections persist, even after treatment.
In addition to promoting an awareness campaign, the CDC will be holding a COCA call on the recent rise in Candida Auris infections across the country next Tuesday, followed on Wednesday by a  CIDRAP ASP - Emerging multi-drug resistant Candida auris webinar.

Think Fungus: Fungal Disease Awareness Week

August 14–18, 2017, is the first Fungal Disease Awareness Week. CDC and partners have organized this week to highlight the importance of recognizing serious fungal diseases early enough in the course of a patient’s illness to provide life-saving treatment.

Some fungal diseases go undiagnosed and cause serious infections in people in the United States and around the world, leading to illness and death. Increased awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways we can improve early recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment. A key clue to when a sick person may have a fungal infection is that he or she is being treated with medications for other types of infection but does not get better.

We encourage healthcare providers and their patients to “Think Fungus” when symptoms of infection do not get better with treatment.

Join us in sharing information to increase awareness in your community about fungal diseases. The quicker doctors can diagnose the right illness, the quicker a patient can be treated the right way.

New resources

On Tuesday afternoon the CDC will hold a COCA (Clinicians Outreach and Communication Activity) call with the latest information on C. auris infections, presented by Tom Chiller, MD, MPHTM Chief, Mycotic Diseases Branch, CDC.

Primarily of interest to clinicians and healthcare providers, COCA (Clinician Outreach Communication Activity) calls are designed to ensure that practitioners have up-to-date information for their practices.
Tackling an Invasive, Emerging, Multi-drug Resistant Yeast: Candida auris — What Healthcare Providers Need to Know

Date:Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Time: 2:00-3:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Please join the COCA Call webinar with digital audio, video and presentation formats from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
If you cannot join through digital audio, you may join by phone in listen-only mode: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

Passcode: 924 227 162
International numbers are available:

Candida auris, an emerging multidrug resistant fungus that can cause invasive infections with high mortality, has been associated with outbreaks in healthcare settings. C. auris was first described in 2009, after being isolated from external ear canal discharge of a patient in Japan. Since then, reports of C. auris infections, including bloodstream infections, have been noted from over a dozen countries—and it has now been found in the United States. As of July 14, 2017, 98 cases have been reported to CDC.

The emergence of C. auris raises several serious concerns for public health. First, many isolates are multidrug-resistant, with some strains having elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations to drugs in all three major classes of antifungal medications, a feature not found in other clinically relevant Candida species. Second, C. auris is challenging to identify, requiring specialized methods like MALDI-TOF or ribosomal DNA sequencing. When using common biochemical methods such as analytical profile index strips or the VITEK 2, C. auris is often misidentified as other yeasts (most commonly Candida haemulonii, but also Candida famata, Rhodotorula glutinis). Finally, C. auris has caused outbreaks in health care settings, spreading from patient to patient, and contaminating healthcare environments. During this COCA call, clinicians will learn about the updated identification, treatment, and infection control recommendtions for C. auris.
        (Continue . . . )
The following day Dr. Chiller will present a webinar sponsored by CIDRAP and the University of Minnesota. 

CIDRAP ASP - Emerging multi-drug resistant Candida auris: considerations for antimicrobial stewardship (Aug 16th)    
Registration is required to join this event. If you have not registered, please do so now.  
Date and time: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:00 pm
Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:00 am
Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 2:00 pm
Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Program:     CIDRAP - ASP
Duration:     1 hour
CIDRAP-ASP will be hosting Dr. Tom Chiller (CDC), as he presents “Antifungal stewardship and emerging multidrug resistant C. auris”.
(Continue . . . )

While the recent rise of C. auris (see CDC Update: Candida Auris - July 2017 and MMWR: Ongoing Transmission of Candida auris in Health Care Facilities) has generated a good deal of concern, over the years we've looked at a diverse array of other fungal threats, including:
EID Journal: Whole-Genome Analysis of Cryptococcus gattii, Southeastern United States

MMWR: Multistate Outbreak Of Fungal Meningitis
mBio: The Remarkable Evolution Of Cryptococcus Gatti
MMWR: Coccidioidomycosis Rising
UK: Rising Pneumocystis Pneumonia

Four Fungal Foes

A Fungus Among Us


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