Just over 50 people in Mississippi have tested positive to Candida auris, a fungus that causes bloodstream infections and has an extremely high mortality rate. All infections in Mississippi seem to originate in a long-term care facility (sound familiar?) in a central part of the state. The fungus is extremely transmissible–it stays alive on the skin for hours, which means that many who show no symptoms will carry the fungus to those more susceptible to the problems it poses. (Sound familiar?) It is also drug-resistant.
Given the way that Mississippi responded to earlier pandemics, how well do you think people here will respond to this new issue? I get it–50 people doth not a pandemic make. However, this is the sort of issue that’s just a few mutations away from being truly scary.
I hope, of course, that C. auris is isolated and poses no further damage to folks around here. However, most people I know who are not immunocompromised stopped wearing masks several months ago. Most people I know have not kept up with a vaccination regimen, whether that involves protecting against the flu, the coronavirus, shingles, or HPV. Call it pandemic exhaustion or vaccine skepticism. Whatever you call it, what will the long-term implications for Mississippi’s health system and economy be?