Coming out of a hospital sicker than when you first got in seems implausible.
But the reality is that hospitalized patients have a high risk of getting infected with deadly fungi infections.
Now, why is that?
Usually, when a person is hospitalized, they are there because of an injury or illness. Thus they’re either very sick or have a week immune system, which makes them an easy target for fungal infections.
Especially if you:
- Are given a central venous catheter – this life-saving device is a tube placed into your vein that provides you with medication or liquids. However, this makes it easier for fungi to enter your bloodstream.
- Have cuts, wounds, and burns – which make the perfect breeding ground for fungi. They can enter your body through your wounds and cause an infection.
If you are very sick, you become a very easy target for any kind of fungus.1
And sadly, that’s precisely what happened to a few children at a hospital in Louisiana a few years ago.
In a matter of days, what was supposed to be a simple medical procedure, turned into the nightmare of their lives.
The children got infected with fungus and lost their lives.
“What haunts me more than anything is thinking about what he suffered,” said one of the mourning parents.
My heart goes out to those parents, losing a child is one of the most traumatic experience a person can have. I have children too, and I don’t know what I would do in that scenario…
And the worst part is, that wasn’t a one-time incident.
For almost a year, at least five children died due to an outbreak of flesh-eating fungal infection (Mucormycosis). When doctors finally connected the dots, they realized that the infection was spread via bed linens, towels, and gowns.2
Strict measures were taken for this to never happen again, but this is not all…
Global Health Threat
Last year, in an Oklahoma hospital, a patient was identified with a deadly new type of fungus: Candida Auris (C. auris).3
What’s so worrying about this?
Candida Auris is a multidrug-resistant fungus that is very hard to identify in standard labs.
By the time it is correctly identified, doctors might slap you with a misdiagnosis and go on a wild goose chase.
If it’s not treated properly from the very beginning, the fungus can spread like wildfire and infect many people. Which is why it presents a global health threat.
So far, scientists researching this type of fungus say that it emerges in healthcare facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and other clinical settings.
This type of fungus is contagious and highly resistant, and thrives in clinical environments, often sticking around on furniture and other equipment for months.
At this point, the CDC confirmed that they had identified over 260 cases of patients infected with C. Auris.4
So far, researchers have noticed that people with low immune systems are the ones who get infected by this fungus and other life-threatening fungi.
Because these fungal cases can snowball at the speed of light if they’re not identified quickly, here are a few things you should know if you want to be safe even when you’re forced to pay a trip to the hospital:
- Learn about fungal infections – this will help both you and your healthcare provider to identify the threat early on.
- Communicate with your doctor if you have any worries or concern and make sure your treatment takes into consideration all of your needs.
- Keep your hands clean – whether it’s you, your healthcare providers or visitors, make sure they clean their hands to avoid the spreading of infections and germs.
Keep this in mind if you’re ever hospitalized. You can also pass along this information to a friend in need or if you know someone who is receiving care in the hospital right now.
Now, I want to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter.
Have you ever got a fungus infection in the hospital?
Do you know of anyone who got infected?
To your health!