The next epidemic could be a fatal fungal infection named Candida Auris, stated experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It could be fatal if it enters the bloodstream, particularly if it enters the body via healthcare and hospital settings.
Experts describe the yeast-like fungal infection as a nearly "perfect pathogen."
Deadly Fungus as Next Epidemic
The fungus was first identified in 2009. According to Johanna Rhodes, an epidemiologist with London's Imperial College, it is almost impervious to antifungal drugs.
Rhodes helped tackle a 2016 outbreak of Candida Auris in England. She stated it is not merely the fungus' resistance to drugs that makes it remarkable.
According to Rhodes, "One of the things that makes Candida Auris so scary is the fact it can linger on inanimate surfaces for long periods and withstand whatever you throw at it," reported New York Post.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated no one knows where the fungus originated.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century plague that is the worst outbreak of its type in history. That reportedly does not mean we could stop being concerned about fatal diseases with the potential to become prevalent across borders rapidly.
Scientists at the CDC are cautioning the next pandemic is likely to come from a yeast-like fungus that closely resembles that of the Black Plague.
The fungus will doubly become fatal if it passes into catheters or other tubes passing into the body in healthcare settings, reported The Sun.
Candida Auris is largely not affected by antifungal drugs.
Rhodes added that it is drug-resistant, which makes it a potential candidate for the next pandemic.
The fatal infection has become the cause of hospitalizations in Florida in recent months and has become prevalent in COVID-19 wards.
According to the CDC, "Candida Auris can spread in healthcare settings through contact with contaminated environmental surfaces or equipment, or from person to person. More work is needed to further understand how it spreads," reported The Epoch Times.
Previously this January, the Florida Department of Health and CDC conducted a joint investigation targeting infection prevention.
According to Dr. Tom Chiller, who runs the CDC's antifungal division, no one knows where it originated. "It is a creature from the black lagoon. It bubbled up and now it is everywhere."
Experts remarked it is important to create better weapons against enemies such as Candida Auris now before they replace COVID-19 as the next pandemic.
Epidemiologists have identified many contenders for the next global health crisis, including Candida Auris.
Candida Auris was first witnessed infecting the ear canal of a Japanese woman.
Chiller compared it to the Black Plague and remarked it mirrored that of substances found in lagoons and other bacteria-ridden areas.
Scientists across the globe have cautioned in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a dire need for disease specialists and centers to begin investing in and developing the prevention and treatment of infectious pathogens.
The CDC report concluded, "Outbreaks such as that described in this report highlight the importance of adhering to recommended infection control and PPE practices and continuing surveillance for novel pathogens like Candida Auris."