C. auris stands for candida auris. It's a type of fungus that is resistant to antibiotics. These are often called 'superbugs'.
Superbugs are resistant to many antibiotics. This means that some antibiotics that were used to treat them no longer work very well.
How you get C. auris
C.auris is a rare bug. There's often no way of knowing when or where you picked it up.
Normally C. auris lives harmlessly on the skin or in the body. But sometimes it can get into the bladder, kidney, lung or blood and cause very serious infection.
This usually happens in patients who are more at risk. For example, people who are in intensive care or who are having chemotherapy.
Symptoms of C. auris
Signs of an infection caused by C. auris include:
- a high temperature
- aches and pains
Diagnosing C. auris infection
Your healthcare team will take a swab or sample from your body. They will then test those samples in a lab.
As this bug is still very rare, most hospitals only test for the bug in people who are in intensive care or have been in hospital abroad.
Treatment of C. auris
C. auris can be treated with a specific type of antibiotics. Common treatments will not work.
We may also offer you a special shampoo and body wash to help remove the C. auris. During treatment, change your bedding, clothes and towel every day. Keep your laundry separate from other people's items. Wash it at the highest temperature possible for the material.
Causes of C. auris infection
C. auris is more likely to cause an infection for people who are already very sick.
Healthy people are not usually at risk of C. auris infections. This includes children and pregnant women.
The following things can put you at higher risk of C. auris infection:
- major surgery
- having a medical device inserted into your body, such as a catheter or IV line
- cancer treatment
- treatment in an intensive care unit or transplant ward
How long C. auris can last
C. auris can live on your skin for months or even years.
If you do not take antibiotics for a long time, this increases the chance of it fading away.
Preventing the spread of C. auris
Lower the risk of picking up and spreading C. auris in hospitals by:
- cleaning your hands often
- using your own soap, flannel, sponge and razor
- keeping your fingernails cut short to stop bacteria from building up under your nails
If you are in hospital:
- limit contact with patients and keep away from their bed space
- avoid sharing food, newspapers or other personal items with patients
- tell staff if facilities in a hospital or clinic are not clean
If you know you carry C. auris
Tell the doctor when you make an appointment and when you get to the surgery or hospital.
If you're in hospital, you might need to stay in your own room or a ward with people who carry C. auris.
If you carry C. auris, this should not get in the way of your normal home life. C. auris is less likely to harm people well enough to be at home.
You do not need to limit contact with anyone. You also do not need to tell friends or family that you have C. auris.