Local News

Area Hospitals Prepared for Drug-Resistant Fungus


There’s a fungus causing issues in hospitals and assisted living facilities across the nation right now — and the CDC has issued an alert about it. It’s called Candida Auris — and they say it’s drug-resistant and potentially deadly.

There have been thousands of cases across the country, and nearly 350 cases have been reported in Florida — but so far none here in Northwest Florida.

Dr. Vinay Pallekona from HCA Florida West tells Channel 3 that the hospital has started a data-driven mandatory hand-washing program. He says they’ve installed hand-washing stations throughout the building that can track how often employees wash their hands through a chip in employee badges.

WEAR says they’ve also contacted Baptist Hospital — who tells them they are following all CDC guidelines and have additional PPE for employees entering patient rooms, as well as an enhanced cleaning protocol in response. Officials say the public shouldn’t be concerned yet — just vigilant to protect themselves from the fungus.

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