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Multidrug-resistant Candida auris: Learning about multidrug-resistant Candida auris in healthcare facilities

Multidrug-Resistant Candida Auris

Learning about multidrug-resistant Candida auris in healthcare facilities

What is multidrug-resistant Candida auris?

Multidrug-resistant Candida auris is a type of fungus that is hard to treat. It’s resistant to many antifungal medicines, meaning these medicines can’t kill it.

Multidrug-resistant Candida auris can cause serious infections in people with a weak immune system or who have more than one health condition. Healthy people don’t usually get multidrug-resistant Candida auris infections.

How does it spread?

Multidrug-resistant Candida auris can spread on unclean hands and hard surfaces (such as countertops, toilets, and bedrails) that a person who is carrying or infected with the fungus has touched. It can live on hard surfaces for days or even weeks.

How harmful is multidrug-resistant Candida auris?

As with any other type of infection, multidrug-resistant Candida auris infection can become serious for some people.

Colonization means that multidrug-resistant Candida auris lives on people but doesn’t cause them health problems. For most people, colonization with multidrug-resistant Candida auris isn’t dangerous and doesn’t make them sick because their immune system keeps it under control.

Infection is when multidrug-resistant Candida auris causes symptoms of infection such as pain and fever. Some people, such as those with more than one health problem at the same time, may be more at risk of getting this type of infection.

How is multidrug-resistant Candida auris treated?

People who are colonized with multidrug-resistant Candida auris don’t usually need any treatment. It may go away on its own.

People infected with multidrug-resistant Candida auris often get antifungal medicines. Infections can happen in a wound, blood, or urine. It’s very important to finish all the medicine in your prescription, even if you’re feeling better.

What if I’m a patient with multidrug-resistant Candida auris in a healthcare facility?

Healthcare facilities take extra steps to help stop multidrug-resistant Candida auris from spreading. Staff may put a sign on the door of your room to remind people to use contact precautions (such as a gown and gloves) before entering your room.

How can I stop multidrug-resistant Candida auris from spreading?

To stop multidrug-resistant Candida auris from spreading in a healthcare facility, do the following every time you leave your room:

  • Clean your hands (wash your hands with soap and water, or clean them with hand sanitizer). You don’t have to wear gloves.
  • Wear a clean, fresh hospital robe (housecoat) over your pajamas or clothes.
  • Ask your healthcare provider to cover your wounds with a clean dressing or to change your dressing if it’s dirty or falling off.
  • Ask for help cleaning places you have touched, such as your wheelchair, walker, cane, or IV pole.

Is it safe for people to visit me?

Yes, it’s safe for family and friends to visit you in the healthcare facility. Visitors should follow any directions on the sign at your door and from staff.

What can I do at home to stop germs from spreading?

There are simple things you can do at home to stop multidrug-resistant Candida auris and other infections from spreading:

Clean your hands regularly. This is the best way to stop germs from spreading.

  • Don’t share personal items such as towels, clothing, bar soap, or razors.
  • Clean your home regularly, especially the kitchen and bathroom. Refer to Reducing germs and infections in the home for tips to stop germs from spreading.
  • Wash clothing using regular laundry soap in the regular wash cycle.
  • Clean shared items (such as sports equipment or surfaces like counters) with a household disinfectant.
  • See a healthcare provider if you have any signs of an infection, such as pain or fever.
  • Cover wounds that are draining with a clean, dry dressing.
  • If you have an infection, you may go to work as usual. If you work with or near food, always use safe food handling procedures.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have multidrug-resistant Candida auris or have had it in the past.

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Current as of: November 27, 2023

Author: Infection Prevention and Control, Alberta Health Services

This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.