Get the Facts About Candida auris (C. auris)

A strain of Candida auris cultured at the NYSDOH public health laboratory, Wadsworth Center.

A strain of Candida auris cultured at the NYSDOH public health laboratory, Wadsworth Center.

What is Candida auris?

Candida auris (C. auris) is an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast that represents a global health threat. Candida auris causes severe illness in hospitalized patients and persons needing ventilator support in long term care facilities. Infections caused by Candida auris may not respond to commonly used antifungal drugs, making them difficult to treat. Also, Candida auris can persist on surfaces in healthcare environments and spread between patients and residents in healthcare facilities. Patients who have a long stay in an intensive care unit, have serious medical conditions, and who have previously received antibiotics or antifungal medications, appear to be at highest risk of infection.

Candida auris can be spread in healthcare settings through contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment, or from physical contact with a person who is infected or colonized.

How can the spread of C. auris be prevented?

Meticulous attention to infection prevention and control measures, including good hand hygiene (either hand sanitizing with an alcohol-based hand rub or hand washing with soap and water), is critical for everyone including healthcare personnel and healthcare facility visitors. It is important that healthcare personnel strictly follow infection prevention and control measures, such as the proper use of gowns and gloves. Appropriate and effective environmental cleaning and disinfection by the healthcare facility is a key part of infection prevention and control. Healthcare facilities should communicate Candida auris status before transferring patients or residents known to have C.auris. Finally, when visiting a healthcare facility, visitors must follow facility directions to prevent the spread of infection.

Here are some videos on how to perform proper hand hygiene:

Is C. auris treatable?

Most C. auris infections are treatable with antifungal drugs. However, some C. auris infections have been resistant to all three main classes of antifungal medications, making them more difficult to treat.

C. auris in New York State

New York State Case Count (as of June 21, 2024)

  • C. auris clinical case count: 1,987
    This group includes individuals who were ill and had C. auris detected during their clinical care.
  • C. auris screening case count: 2,542
    This group includes individuals who were not ill from C. auris and were tested specifically for C. auris as part of a public health investigation.

There are 321 individuals that are reflected above as both a screening case and clinical case based on national surveillance definitions.

Candida auris infection was first detected in New York State through public health surveillance in 2016. A 2013 case was identified retrospectively after identification of in 2016. Below are annual clinical and surveillance case counts from 2013 through 2023 thus far.

Year # Clinical Cases # Surveillance Cases
2013 1 0
2014 0 0
2015 0 0
2016 26 11
2017 99 128
2018 158 254
2019 178 306
2020 250 200
2021 291 348
2022 377 498
2023 412 584
*2024 194 213
Total* 1,987 2,542

*As of June 21, 2024

New York State Department of Health response to C. auris

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is at the forefront of a national response to C. auris and is working proactively to contain the spread of C. auris in hospitals and nursing homes. NYSDOH has provided guidance and assistance to hospitals and nursing homes to strengthen readiness, enhance surveillance, and implement effective infection prevention and control measures for C. auris.

When C. auris is confirmed or suspected, NYSDOH recommends that healthcare facilities contact their NYSDOH regional epidemiologist and follow all applicable CDC infection prevention and control recommendations. Healthcare facilities should collaborate to ensure interfacility communication about a patient’s Candida auris status, which is key to ensure seamless transitions and allows facilities to use appropriate infection prevention and control practices.


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