WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Doctors and health officials across the country, including here in the DMV, are raising alarms over Candida Auris, a deadly fungus that is spreading at a concerning rate through health care systems.

Dr. Jose Lucar, Infectious Disease Physician at George Washington University, said there are a number of reasons for the concern about the fungus, including that it’s known to be resistant to many antifungal medications, can spread easily between health care facilities, is hard to get rid of, and can create serious infections that sometimes can be lethal.

“This fungus appears to have a very unique ability to adapt to the healthcare environment and really colonize all sorts of different surfaces. Tables, walls, catheters, tubes, etc.,” said Lucar.

But what is the prevalence of this fungus in the DMV?

“We don’t know exactly the prevalence of the infection, however, we know that in the period of time between January and December of 2022, there were 19 clinical cases reported from the District of Columbia, and statewide for Virginia, there were 40 cases, and Maryland there were 46 cases,” said Lucar.

Health officials are expecting to see more cases pop up locally and nationally.

“We are anticipating a rise in cases, ” said Lucar, who emphasized that the situation is not something about which the general public should be concerned.

“This fungus is currently not a threat to healthy individuals otherwise, I think it’s important to mention that,” said Lucar.