Chief Health Officer Alert – Candid auris case detected in Victoria

Key messages

  • A Victorian man has been diagnosed with the uncommon fungal superbug Candida auris (also known as C. auris). This is the first known case of C. auris in Victoria.
  • C. auris is a fungus which can cause colonisation on the skin, or invasive infections (e.g. bloodstream or urine infections) and has caused outbreaks in many other countries, including England and the United States.
  • C. auris is of particular concern for the following reasons:
    • It causes serious infections
    • It is often resistant to anti-fungal medicines, and may be untreatable
    • It is becoming more common internationally
    • It is difficult to identify as it can be misidentified as other Candida species
    • It can spread readily in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services is working very closely with our health services and public health laboratories to take a ‘search and destroy’ approach to ensure it does not spread within health facilities or cause outbreaks.
  • Routine screening is taking place for patients who shared a ward with the affected patient.
  • It is important for laboratories and clinicians to be aware of the possibility of C. auris in high-risk patients.
  • Any confirmed cases of C. auris in patients should be notified to the Department of Health and Human Services immediately by telephone via 1300 651 160.
  • Any confirmed isolates C. auris should be forwarded to the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) for confirmatory and sensitivity testing.

Read the full alert: Candida auris case detected in Victoria