As if industrial factory farms weren’t bad enough, now they’ve brought us something new to worry about: a fungus, described as “deadly” and “mysterious,” that preys on people whose immune systems are already compromised.
Last year, Candida auris (C. auris) killed an elderly man who was admitted to the Mount Sinai Hospital in Brooklyn. According to the New York Times:
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.
Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president told the Times:
“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump. The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.”
C. auris is one of dozens of dangerous bacteria and fungi that have developed resistance. Similar to how antibiotics are overused in livestock, scientists believe that overapplication of fungicides to prevent food crops from rotting may be contributing to drug-resistant fungi.