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CDC says deadly fungal infection is spreading at an alarming rate



A new government study has found that a drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus is rapidly spreading through US healthcare facilities.

A fungus, a type of yeast called Candida auris or C. auris, can cause severe illness in people with weakened immune systems. The number of people diagnosed with infections, as well as those who are screened to be carriers of C. auris, has been growing at an alarming rate since it was first reported in the US, according to researchers from the Centers for disease control. and Prevention reported on Monday.

This increase, “especially in recent years, is really worrying,” says study lead author Dr. S. Megan Lyman, chief medical officer Department of Mycotic Diseases CDC, – said in an interview. “We are seeing an increase not only in areas of ongoing transmission, but also in new areas.”

A new CDC warning, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, comes as the Mississippi Department of Health is battling a growing outbreak of the fungus. Since November, at least 12 people have been infected with C. auris, four of which are “potentially associated with death,” said state epidemiologist Dr. S. Paul Byers said in an email.

Petri dish with Candida auris in a laboratory in Würzburg, Germany on January 23, 2018. Nicholas Armer / alliance photo via Getty Images file

Transmission continued at two long-term care facilities, although cases were identified at several other facilities in the state.

“Unfortunately, multidrug-resistant organisms such as C. auris have become more prevalent among people at highest risk, such as residents of long-term care facilities,” Byers said.

The fungus can be found on the skin and throughout the body, according to the CDC. This is not a threat to healthy people, but a third of people who get C. auris die.

In the CDC report, the researchers analyzed data from state and local health departments on people who contracted the fungus from 2016 to December 2016. December 31, 2021, as well as those who were “colonized”, which means that they were not sick, but carried the virus on their body with the possibility of transmitting it to others who might be more vulnerable to it.

The number of infections increased by 59% to 756 from 2019 to 2020 and then another 95% to 1471 in 2021.

The researchers also found that the incidence of people not infected with the fungus but colonized by it increased by 21% in 2020 compared to 2019 and by 209% in 2021, rising to 4041 in 2021 compared to 1310 in 2020.

A new study has found that C. auris is now found in more than half of the US states.

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This part of the US will be hardest hit by climate change



CLIMATE WIRE | According to a new index created by the Environmental Defense Fund and Texas A&M University, industrialized areas of the Deep South are the most vulnerable in the US to climate change, which analyzes the impact of climate and living conditions in the area, such as poverty and health.

Nearly all of the most vulnerable communities are located along the Gulf Coast from Mobile, Alabama to Corpus Christi, Texas, a region prone to floods and hurricanes, deep pockets of poverty, poor health, and economic and racial inequality. Communities in Memphis, Tennessee, Birmingham, Alabama, and Chattanooga, Tennessee also scored high on the index.

“Black communities in the Deep South are fighting for their lives to protect their community from years of environmental racism, and we need every tool available to showcase what years of pollution look like in our communities,” said Beverly Wright, Founder and CEO. director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in New Orleans.

Wright welcomed the new index, saying in an email that “data is critical to ensuring that these federal resources reach the communities they are intended for.”

The index is the latest in a series of new or recently updated online tools that assess environmental and climate risks in more than 70,000 small geographic areas known as census tracts, each with only a few thousand people. The effort comes as the Biden administration is prioritizing “disadvantaged communities” in allocating billions of dollars in new environmental and community spending.

The new index will help “ensure that adaptation efforts are directed to those who need them most,” Grace T. Lewis, lead author and senior fellow at EDF’s Climate and Health Program, wrote in a blog post.

Other interactive tools include Centers for Disease Control and PreventionEnvironmental Justice Index, Federal Emergency Management Agency National Disaster Risk Index another EJ EPA Screenlaunched in 2015 and updated in 2022. The White House recently published Checking climate and economic justice a tool to help channel federal climate and environmental spending through the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative.

More than a dozen states, including California, New York and Pennsylvania, have their own screening tools, which are sometimes used to prioritize funding and protect vulnerable areas.

And in August, the Wright Group and the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University launched the HBCU Climate and Environmental Justice Review Tool in collaboration with Justice40. The Justice40 initiative aims to allocate 40 percent of the benefits of federal climate and clean energy investments to “disadvantaged communities” that have high levels of environmental impact and social vulnerability.

The EDF and Texas A&M index stands out for its breadth and scope, according to officials. The researchers collected data on more than 180 indicators of both “underlying vulnerability” and climate change risks—about three times the number the White House used for its screening tool. The data spans five categories: health, socioeconomic status, infrastructure, environment. and extreme events such as hurricanes.

The five categories are part of the climate change index because “vulnerable groups will be disproportionately affected by greater exposure to climate risks and lower ability to prepare, adapt and recover from their effects,” the researchers wrote in the journal. International Environment Organization. Such communities have been the focus of “environmental justice” campaigns.

The index is designed to help communities explore federal funding opportunities, including through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The goal is to provide a science-based tool that provides the data needed to support increased investment in these areas,” said Elena Kraft, EDF Deputy Vice President and health and climate expert.

Sarah Colangelo, director of Georgetown University’s Clinic for Environmental Law and Justice, said the index will help vulnerable communities “both by providing data that validates community experiences and by visualizing risks for decision makers at the governmental, nonprofit and corporate levels.”

The index provides “a fine understanding of vulnerability to climate change,” Colangelo added.

The index shows that the most climate-vulnerable communities are along the industrialized Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Mobile, and in parts of Memphis and St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, along the Mississippi River. The parish south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is part of a region commonly known as “cancer lane”. The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the legacy of industrial pollution and high cancer rates in the area.

Some high-profile areas outside the South include major cities such as Philadelphia, parts of the Ohio Valley, and central and southern California.

Weihsue Chiu, study co-author and professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, highlighted the “hyperlocal nature” of health and socioeconomic disparities that will be exacerbated by rising average temperatures and associated natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts. .

“If you look at specific numbers, some of them are geographically dispersed” across states and counties, Chiu said. “But a lot of them, especially those basic vulnerabilities, you cross the street and it’s a whole different world.”

Chiu said the South generally scores high on the Basic Vulnerability Index because it has high levels of poverty and health problems. “It highlights a lot of the things that the EJ movement was talking about,” he said.

Reprinted from News from Europe and Europe with permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2023. E&E News provides important news for energy and environmental professionals.

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NASA television report on the movement of the crew of the Soyuz space station



NASA will be live streaming as the three crew members aboard the International Space Station make a short trip inside the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, starting at 4:15 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 6, to move the spacecraft from one parking spaces to another.

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