News about mold is no reason to panic

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Almost all national media write about a new fungal disease. The messages can cause unrest, especially after the coronavirus pandemic. But there is no cause for concern at this point.

An American agency – comparable to the Dutch RIVM – issued a press release a few days ago. It states that in recent years a certain fungus has been found in American hospitals more and more often. This fungus, called candida auris, is sometimes difficult to treat. Only people who are seriously ill, for example because their immune system is suppressed by medicines, are at risk of infection with the fungus. People with a normal immune system usually do not get sick from it.

Candida auris is not new, the fungus was already discovered in 2009. Since then, the fungus has spread all over the world, but as far as is known, no people have become ill in the Netherlands. People can also carry the fungus without becoming ill and lose the fungus unnoticed. Testing for the fungus is only necessary in seriously ill people in hospital.

RIVM is monitoring the spread of the fungus. It is also being practiced how to combat an increase in infections in the Netherlands. But there are no indications of a possible ‘outbreak among humans’, as various media write. RIVM has created a webpage with explanations and answers to frequently asked questions about the fungus.

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