Candida auris (C. auris)
Candida auris (C. auris) is a germ that can survive in the healthcare environment for long periods of time. It can cause invasive infections in hospitalized patients, including in the bloodstream.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is C. auris?
C. auris is a type of yeast that can live on the skin and other body sites without causing infection or illness (colonization) for many months, even years.
Why is C. auris a problem?
C. auris can spread quickly from person to person and via contaminated surfaces in healthcare settings like hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. C. auris infections can be serious, difficult to treat, and even fatal. C. auris infections are often resistant to several kinds of antifungal medications, or multidrug-resistant.
Who is at risk of getting C. auris?
In general, healthy people are not at risk of C. auris colonization or infection. People who have spent a lot of time in healthcare facilities like hospitals or skilled nursing facilities are at the highest risk of becoming colonized with C. auris and developing infections. Other risk factors include:
- Being on a mechanical ventilator (breathing machine)
- Having devices like tubes going into the body such as urinary catheters, central venous catheters, feeding or breathing tubes
- Recent antibiotic or antifungal use
- Recent stay at a long-term acute care hospital or ventilator unit in a skilled nursing facility
- Recent overnight stay at a healthcare facility outside of the United States
How is C. auris spread?
There are different ways C. auris can spread:
- Direct person to person contact with individuals with C. auris
- Indirect person to person contact via the hands or clothing of healthcare personnel, or contact with contaminated surfaces or medical equipment
What can patients and families do to prevent C. auris infections?
Patients and families can take several important steps to help prevent drug-resistant infections like C. auris. Make sure to:
- Tell your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with C. auris or another drug-resistant infection, or hospitalized elsewhere, especially outside of the United States.
- Take antifungals and antibiotics only as prescribed.
- Expect all healthcare personnel to wash their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after touching your body or tubes going into your body. If they do not, ask them to do so.
- In many healthcare settings, healthcare personnel will wear gloves and gowns when interacting with patients with C. auris.
Persons with a history of C. auris infection or colonization who are living at home do not need to isolate or take other special precautions in the community. If you have C. auris or are caring for someone who does, make sure to clean your own hands and practice good hygiene. This is especially important during the following activities:
- Before preparing or eating food
- After using the bathroom
- Before and after changing wound dressings or bandages
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
Should family members or other close contacts of patients be tested for C. auris?
CDPH does not recommend family members or otherwise healthy close contacts of patients with C. auris infection or colonization be tested for C. auris. In general, healthy people are not at risk of C. auris and do not need to be tested.
What can healthcare facilities and public health departments do to prevent C. auris transmission?
Preventing the spread of C. auris
and other drug-resistant germs is essential for patient safety and ensuring antifungal and antibiotic medications continue to work in the future. Healthcare providers and public health practitioners can visit the CDPH webpage for C. auris
to learn more about how healthcare facilities and public health departments can prevent transmission of C. auris
. Local health departments can view the CDPH C. auris Quicksheet
(PDF) when working with facilities to prevent C. auris
transmission in their jurisdiction.
Additional C. auris Resources