Japanese fungus spreading in UK hospitals

More than 200 patients in England have been infected or contaminated with a drug-resistant fungus first found in Japan, health officials have confirmed.

Hospitals are on the lookout for further cases and are putting in place measures to help control any further spread of the fungus, Candida auris.

Public Health England says in some cases patients will have no symptoms, but the infection can cause serious bloodstream and wound infections.

So far, no UK patient has died from it.

The first UK case emerged in 2013. Since then, infection rates have been going up – although it remains rare.

Candida auris is proving hard to stop because it has developed some resistance to the drug doctors normally use against it.

As of July, 20 separate NHS trusts and independent hospitals in the UK had detected Candida auris.

More than 35 other hospitals have had patients known to be colonised with Candida auris transferred to them.

Three hospitals have seen large outbreaks that have been difficult to control, despite intensive infection prevention and control measures.

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