These Are Your Chances of Getting a Fungal Infection

Pets, medications and even a hospital stay can put you at risk.

Fungus is taking over the world… or so it seems. This week, the New York Times reported a story about a man in Brooklyn who fell prey to a newly discovered fungus. It’s called Candida auris, and it’s “quietly spreading across the globe” as a drug resistant germ that nothing can kill.

How bad is it? This is what happened. The man involved died after 90 days in hospital. A special cleaning unit was called in after his death. They had to rip out the ceiling tiles in his room in order to ensure that every last bit of fungus was actually truly destroyed. Rip them out!

So, this stuff is truly deadly and sticks around like the last guest at a party, who lost their keys. With a machete in hand.

What are the chances that you’ll be next?

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First, let’s look at what’s known. Candida auris usually targets people with a weakened immune system. Not everyone falls in this category.  That being said, superbugs are a big problem that anyone can encounter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has this to say. If you have a lung infection that seems like pneumonia but it isn’t going away with antibiotic treatment, it could be something called Valley Fever, which is caused by fungus. Seek help.

Doing things like gardening, cleaning chicken coops and visiting caves makes you more susceptible to a fungal infection, so have fun with caution.

If you have a cat or dog, get them checked at a vet for ringworm (fungus). Adult pets don’t always show any symptoms, but they can be infected and spread their germs to you.

Certain medications can also increase your risk of attracting fungus. Transplants, living with HIV/AIDS, a hospital stay and cancer treatments can also all increase your chances.

The moral of the story? Other than avoiding these things, you can cross your fingers (if they aren’t itchy) and hope for more scientific advancements.

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