Six months after Nevada’s congressional delegation called for a better plan for fighting “superbug” Candida auris, the number of new cases in the southern part of the state has risen to record levels.

In October, there were 57 new clinical cases of the drug-resistant, potentially lethal fungus that can invade a person’s bloodstream, brain, heart or other organs, according to Nevada Division of Behavioral Health data.

In the same month, 123 cases of colonization were reported in which individuals typically have the fungus in the folds of their skin, invisible to the eye, yet are not sick. Those people can still transmit the pathogen.


The fungus can spread from person to person and also from contaminated surfaces and equipment with transmission occurring most often in healthcare settings.

Patients who have been hospitalized for a long time, or have a central venous catheter or other lines or tubes entering their body, are at highest risk for infection, public health authorities say. Healthy people usually don’t develop an invasive infection.

Since August 2021, when the first local cases were reported, there have been nearly 2,300 total cases in Southern Nevada – 904 clinical cases and 1,369 colonizations – at 42 acute-care hospitals, long-term care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, according to data.

“The data suggests that enhanced screening efforts likely accounted for this increase,” division representative Dawn Cribb wrote in an email.

Although the number of clinical cases rose only slightly higher than in previous months, the cases of colonization — which are detected through screening people without symptoms — increased significantly. Cribb said she did not have figures on screening increases.

Last year, Southern Nevada experienced the worst outbreaks of C. auris in the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. In 2022, Nevada reported 384 of the country’s 2,377 clinical cases.

In the spring of last year, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services alerted healthcare providers to the outbreaks as first reported in the Review-Journal.


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