A drug-resistant "superbug" that is often fatal is spreading at alarming rates across New York State.

On Sunday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer called on the federal government to declare an emergency as the number of cases of a drug-resistant superbug, Candida Auris, continues to rise.

Candida auris, also called C. auris, is a fungus that causes serious infections. According to the CDC, antifungal medicines commonly used to treat Candida infections often don’t work for Candida auris. Some C. auris infections have been resistant to all three types of antifungal medicines.

“We’re here to say, now more than ever, with something as deadly as Candida auris, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Schumer said according to CBS. “The CDC has the power to declare Candida auris the superbug an emergency and money would flow to New York.”

As of March 31, there are 613 confirmed cases of Candida Auris in the United States with 319 being found in New York State.

Candida auris can cause bloodstream infections and even death, particularly in hospital and nursing home patients with serious medical problems. Over 33 percent of patients with invasive Candida auris infection die, the CDC reports.

"It [C. auris] can be everywhere; it can be on anything. Hospitals may have to rip out their ceilings and walls to have it removed," Schumer said Sunday according to AMny.com

According to Schumer, declaring the emergency will free up federal money to better treat and diagnose those infected with the tough-to-kill fungus.

Most who get Candida infections are often already sick from other medical conditions. The most common symptoms of invasive Candida infection are fever and chills that don’t improve after antibiotic treatment for a suspected bacterial infection. Only a laboratory test can diagnose an infection.

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