Drug-resistant superbug thriving in hospitals hit hard by COVID-19
Doctors worry that a dangerous yeast, which can colonize a person’s skin without generating symptoms, is rising due to medical centers being overrun.
Over Christmas break in 2015, Johanna Rhodes received a panicked email from a doctor working at the Royal Brompton Hospital, the largest heart and lung center in the United Kingdom. A horrid yeast was invading the skin of patients, spreading through the intensive care unit even though the hospital maintained extensive protocols for infection control.
“The doctor asked me to take a look … I thought, how bad can it be?” recalls Rhodes, an infectious disease expert at Imperial College London who studies antifungal resistance. Rhodes stepped in to help one of the world’s top cardiology hospitals identify the pathogen and clear it from the premises. The germ was Candida auris, little known at the time. What she