Acute Communicable
Disease Control

 
Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, #212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856
Email:acdc2@ph.lacounty.gov

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Acute Communicable Disease Control


What is Candida auris?

Candida auris (C. auris) is a new, emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. This novel multi-drug resistant organism (N-MDRO) has caused several healthcare facility outbreaks in the US and abroad. C. auris is a particular health concern because it: can cause severe, antibiotic-resistant infections; is difficult to identify using traditional yeast identification methods; can survive on healthcare setting surfaces for long periods; and can spread easily to patients in healthcare settings.

On May 7, 2019, LAC DPH released an LAHAN describing the first cases of C. auris in Southern California. Currently, there is no known active transmission of C. auris in LAC. However, because there is ongoing transmission in other states and neighboring counties it could spread to LA.

Who is at highest risk for C. auris?

LAC DPH currently considers the following populations to be at high risk for C. auris colonization or infection:
  • Roommates of C. auris-positive patients/residents
  • Patients/residents who have had an overnight stay in a healthcare facility in a country with transmission or multiple cases of C. auris
  • Patients/residents who are colonized with carbapenemase-producing organisms, such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
  • Patients/residents on a mechanical ventilator or tracheostomy being admitted from a long-term acute care hospital (LTAC) or skilled nursing facility (SNF) with transmission of C. auris
  • Patients/residents who have had an overnight stay in a healthcare facility in a state with transmission C. auris, including New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, in the past 12 months

Patients/residents meeting any of these criteria should be screened for C. auris colonization. LAC DPH can provide additional guidance and free colonization testing swabs if needed.

How can the spread of C. auris be prevented?

  • Meticulous attention to infection prevention and control, including:

    o    good hand hygiene (either hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitizing with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer);

    o    proper selection, use, and disposal of personal protective equipment; and

    o    appropriate and effective environmental cleaning and disinfection using an agent effective against C. auris.

  • Healthcare facilities should review all interim recommendations from the CDC regarding C. auris infection prevention and control and should monitor the CDC site for new information and revisions to current recommendations

LAC DPH CAN HELP!   ACDC can provide:

  • Assistance in determining what types of high-risk patients should be screened for C. auris
  • C. auris colonization swabs and/or testing services for certain high-risk patients
  • Confirmatory C. auris testing for suspect clinical isolates
  • C. auris educational materials
  • Sample C. auris protocols, policies, and/or signage
  • Infection control consultation to help your facility prepare for and/or contain C. auris

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