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Infection Control and Evolving Infectious Diseases: Spotlight on Candida Auris, mpox, and Oropouche Virus

A recent examination of infectious disease (ID) practitioners in the U.S. has quite tellingly unearthed a low screening rates for Candida auris at American hospitals, as conveyed in a study published in ‘Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology’. This survey, which targeted roughly 3,000 ID physicians under the Infectious Diseases Society of America Emerging Infections Network (EIN), posed a series of questions regarding the screening processes of C auris. Results delineated the prevalence of screening tests carried out and the number of cases identified within the physicians’ respective facilities. A total of 253 responses were collected, with a division between regions identified as frequent C auris hotspots (tier 3 or 4 areas) and non-endemic tier 2 areas.

The responses indicated that C auris screenings were conducted at a rate of 37% across all responses. However, the analysis revealed a higher prevalence of screening activities in tier 3 and 4 areas (59%) as opposed to tier 2 areas (17%). The findings certainly underscore the need to enhance C auris screening across U.S. medical facilities to facilitate early detection and rim the chances of spread. Turning our attention to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an ongoing mpox outbreak has offered scientists an insight into a possible third route of mpox transmission: heterosexual sexual activity. This particular outbreak, which involves a different clade than the global outbreak, is centralized in Kamituga, South Kivu. Interestingly, this clade 1 outbreak, which is typically propagated via zoonotic spillovers and some human-to-human spread, seems to be accelerating due to sexual transmission. Here comes another trend: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise across Europe, as per the newest data published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The trio of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia takes the spotlight here, with an astounding surge in case numbers. As STIs can lead to grave health complications if untreated, it is of utmost importance to heighten awareness campaigns and bolster access to testing and treatment services.

In Latin America, Brazil and Peru are reporting escalating infections involving the Oropouche virus, transmitted via biting midges and certain mosquito types. There is no specific vaccine or treatment for the disease, which manifests symptoms akin to dengue. Let’s zoom into the marine world now. A unique herpesvirus was discovered in South American fur seals and sea lions by researchers, revealing important implications for our understanding of herpesvirus diversity and distribution in marine life. In conclusion, these findings are indicative of the unceasing evolution of infectious diseases, underscoring the significance of enhanced surveillance and control measures.


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