top of page
  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Lakeshore General Hospital warns of deadly fungal disease on-site.

The Lakeshore General Hospital Infectious Disease Department confirmed that there is a new fungal infection at their site – Candida auris.

This fungal infection was first identified in Japan in 2009 and has been spreading worldwide since. It is highly contagious through skin contact with infected people and/or surfaces they have touched. It persists on surfaces and multi-use equipment for extended periods of time. It can cause severe morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients who are immunocompromised or receiving intensive care.

Symptoms depend on the site of infection. Candida auris can cause an infection in the blood, a wound, ears, urinary tract, bones, or meninges (lining around the brain). Rarely, a person can be a carrier of the Candida auris fungus without getting sick or showing symptoms of infection. When seeking to identify people at risk of carrying the fungal infection, samples may be taken from the armpit and groin area. Other areas can also be tested depending on the situation (ex., nose, throat, wounds) (Gouvernement du Québec).

According to the Québec government's website, various measures must be implemented when a hospital admits a Candida auris carrier. These measures are maintained until laboratory test results show that the patient is no longer a carrier.

When leaving the health care facility, the carrier must inform their doctor or the health professional if another person at home is ill or has a weakened immune system. Additional measures may be necessary at home to protect the person.

In nursing homes, measures are adapted to the setting and the person's condition. The Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence have informed their community that they are adopting the following protocols:

  • They are testing all patients who have come to them from hospitals in the last two days.

  • Until a negative test result is received, patients will be in quarantine. Positive patients will be quarantined.

  • Only those people providing care or housekeeping will go into the rooms, which are identified by the existence of the PPE bins just outside the room.

  • Surface cleaning will be done every 12 hours using a special disinfectant that works for Candida auris.

  • All visitors must wear their protective gear, including gloves, upon entering the room and must dispose of their gowns, followed by gloves and cleaning hands upon exiting the room (use hand sanitizer).

  • Visitors of the people in quarantine remain in the rooms and do not circulate to the common areas.

Going forward, the TDPCR will be requesting that admitted patients are tested for Candida auris prior to being admitted to the Residence.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in March that they deemed C. auris an urgent threat because of its resistance to medications, though they said it is not seen as a threat to healthy people. More in-depth information for affected persons can be found here.

Should a statement be made by the CIUSSS or the Lakeshore Hospital be made in the coming days, we will keep our community informed.

SOURCE: Government of Québec, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.


bottom of page