LUBBOCK, Texas – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a press release this week that an urgent threat has spread to more than half of the states. The City of Lubbock Health Department then provided local information and prevention tips on Thursday.

The fungus, called Candida auris (C. auris), is considered an urgent threat because it can be resistant to antifungal drugs, spreads easily in healthcare facilities and can cause high death rates, according to the CDC.

The City of Lubbock Health Department stated the most common symptom is fever and chills that won’t improve with antibiotic treatment. Lab tests can be performed to determine if someone has C. auris.

C. auris is not a threat to healthy people, however it is a risk for people with serious health conditions or have invasive medical devices such as catheters, feeding tubes or trach tubes, according to the City of Lubbock Health Department.

CDC data showed that Texas has seen 160 cases in the past 12 months. There have been no reported cases in Lubbock. C. auris was first reported in 2016, but has most rapidly spread from 2020-2021.

According to the CDC, the reason C. auris worsened during the pandemic is because of the toll COVID-19 had on healthcare. In addition, the spike in C. auris, cases could be due to the increased ability to detect cases.

CDC officials stated they are working with state and local health departments to address the threat to public health.

The City of Lubbock Health Department concluded that good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of C. auris.