Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 31-07-2019
Concerns have been raised about a new superbug that has the potential to be resistant to anti-fungal medication.
The deadly, drug-resistant fungus called candida auris is spreading around the world at an alarming rate and has hit South Africa's private hospitals.
Candida auris causes a life threatening infection when it invades the blood stream of people admitted to hospital including those with compromised immune systems.
Speaking to Radio Islam, the National Institutes for Communicable Diseases Professor Nelesh Govender says candida auris tends to spread from person to person usually by direct skin contact.
“It can also spread from contaminated medical equipment or the contaminated hospital environment to an ill person.”
Professor Govender says the bug can affect a number of people.
“When you talk about children, usually newborn babies, elderly people admitted to hospital with underlying conditions, as well as people admitted to intensive care units. That’s where we’ve seen most cases of candida auris.”
Govender says the first case in South Africa was detected as far back as 2009 with some 1 700 cases detected between 2012 and 2016.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), candida auris has the ability to survive on surfaces like walls and furniture for weeks. People who contract these drug-resistant diseases typically die soon after contracting them because of their untreatable nature.
Listen to the interview with Nelesh Govender