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Dangerous fungus detected at Quebec hospital, health officials warn

Click to play video: 'What is Candida auris, the fungal infection that has emerged around the world?' What is Candida auris, the fungal infection that has emerged around the world?
WATCH - 2019: What is Candida auris, the fungal infection that has emerged around the world? – Apr 12, 2019

Regional health authorities say a dangerous fungus known for its resistance to treatment has been detected at a hospital in Longueuil, Que., on Montreal’s South Shore.

Officials at Hopital Pierre-Boucher say two cases of patients carrying Candida auris have been identified at the hospital since Sept. 8.

On that date, a first person suspected of carrying the fungus was placed in isolation as well as their close contacts.

READ MORE: What causes long COVID? Canadian researchers think they’ve found a key clue

Spokeswoman Caroline Doucet says other precautionary measures have been taken, including instructions to the staff in the unit where the cases occurred about personal protective equipment, frequent handwashing and disinfection measures.

All patients who have been in close contact with the two cases have been tested, and the health agency says the hospital remains safe for users.

According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Candida auris is an emerging fungus that is considered a serious global health threat because it is often resistant to multiple antifungal drugs, is difficult to identify with standard laboratory testing and can trigger outbreaks in health-care settings.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says he’s concerned about the presence of the pathogen in Quebec and has asked federal public health officials to speed up the collection of information from the provinces in order to obtain a better portrait of the situation.

 

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