In around the 2000s a fungus called Candida auris started to spread across the world. It’s nothing special to look at – just another member of the sprawling Candida family of yeasts. Most of these yeasts live harmlessly on the skin or moist surfaces of the human body. But some, if they enter the body, can lead to infections.
Of these infecting yeasts, the most widespread is Candida albicans. This fungus causes the infection of the mouth known as “thrush.” Its effects are also sometimes referred to simply as a “yeast infection.” And on whichever part of the body C. albicans infects, it can cause itching and soreness, while sometimes even leading to fevers.
However, whereas C. albicans is generally just a nuisance that can be treated with pills and creams that one can buy over the counter, C. auris poses a new menace. Unheard of until 2009, it’s now spreading across the world. And doctors are at a loss about how to deal with it.