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Deadly Fungal Infection That Doctors Have Been Fearing Now Reported in US

A deadly fungal infection dreaded by health officials has now affected nearly three dozen people in the U.S., The Washington Post reports. A strain of Candida auris, this infection causes serious bloodstream infections and is highly drug-resistant. The infection is relatively rare, but officials worry that it could evolve and spread.

This is worrisome because bacteria can quickly develop extreme resistance to antibiotics, surviving antibiotics at a dose 1,000 times higher than they could initially survive in a matter of 11 days. Yet, tens of thousands of illnesses and deaths from other drug-resistant infections go uncounted as federal and state agencies do not systematically track them. This suggests the overall drug-resistant problem is FAR greater than currently thought.

One of the main ways that drug-resistant infections are spread are because of the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). One route of exposure is water contaminated with runoff from CAFO manure, which is commonly applied to fields, with bacteria spreading with shifting winds. Runoff from these fields can also spread through viral pathogens washing into groundwater and watersheds.

You can help stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease by using antibiotics only when necessary, avoiding all antibacterial household products, washing your hands with plain soap and water and purchasing only organic, antibiotic-free meats and other foods. Buying your food only from responsible, high-quality and sustainable sources is your best bet, and I strongly encourage you to support small family farms in your area.
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