NYT, Harvard Confirm Migrants Bring Contagious Bugs To U.S.

Residents of these 3 states now facing “urgent threat”

Deadly germs, lost cures:

A mysterious infection is spanning the globe in a climate of secrecy

| The rise of Candida auris embodies a serious and growing public health threat: drug-resistant germs.

By Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs, Apr 6, 2019

The New York Times – Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery.

A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit.

The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe.

Over the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa.

The bug has arrived in three populous U.S. states already – threat is “urgent”

Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.”

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us … But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming.” – Donald Trump, 16 June 2015

“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump,” said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president. “The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.”

C. auris is so tenacious, in part, because it is impervious to major antifungal medications, making it a new example of one of the world’s most intractable health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections. Read more. 

Harvard Medical School Hosts Week-Long Summit on Infectious Diseases 

Travelers and immigrants are spreading infectious, hard-to-treat diseases, 

This comprehensive CME [continuing medical education] program ensures attendees are current with state-of-the-art approaches to prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. The weeklong program will be held April 23 – 27, 2019 in Boston.

Updates, best practices and new guidelines include strategies for “challenging, rare, and emerging infectious diseases”:

  • Zika, Ebola, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and other emerging infectious diseases
  • Re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Pulmonary and extrapulmonary non-tuberculous (“atypical”) mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium chimaera
  • Candida auris infection (emphasis added)
  • Infections in travelers and immigrants (emphasis added)
  • Zoonoses—the old and the new 



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