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Health Experts Warn Drug-Resistant Germs Coming Back as Attention Shifted Towards COVID-19

CC0 / / Virus
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The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 2 million people since its outbreak, prompting governments all around the world to take unprecedented measures to curb the spread of disease. However, heightened attention towards the coronavirus paved the way for resurgence of some other dangerous bacteria and fungi.

As much attention in nursing homes and hospitals has been paid to dealing with COVID-19 and its consequences, other infectious and dangerous drug-resistant germs have surfaced in Florida, New Jersey and California, as well as around the world, in India, Italy, Peru and France, the New York Times cited health experts as saying on Wednesday in a study that revealed a new epidemiological threat.

When the coronavirus pandemic began, health workers mostly placed their focus on disease prevention measures, such as cleaning hospital rooms, changing gowns and cleaning other protective equipment. Paradoxically, medical workers had little time to track other bacteria spreading amid the exhaustive fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Health specialists told the NYT that some drug-resistant organisms, which authorities had tried to fight even before the pandemic started, had re-surfaced, including the Candida auris fungus. According to Hospital Epidemiologist at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center Dr. Zachary Rubin, there has been a blooming in the fungus lately.

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The study indicated that after the pandemic began there was much less monitoring for patients affected by these fungi and germs. Such patients were sporadically moved between nursing houses and intensive care units, thus contributing to the spread of germs. As for other reasons, the authors pointed at the use of steroids to treat COVID-19. While steroids could mitigate symptoms of the virus, they would leave the immune system vulnerable to other germs. 

There has been several outbreaks of drug-resistant germs over the last year, believed to be triggered by COVID-19. Multiple cases of fungal infection were detected in India in December and in California in June. 

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