BROOME, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – According to New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, a potentially life-threatening fungus called Candida auris is spreading at an increasing pace nationwide.

Infections from the fungus, which are most prominent in healthcare facilities, can cause severe illness in hospitalized patients because they don’t respond to commonly used anti-fungal drugs, making them difficult to treat.

Hochul says that the New York State Health Department has been working with health care providers since 2016 to identify these fungal infections and take precautions to prevent them from spreading in high-risk environments.

Nonetheless, there have been reports of Candida auris in New York State.

Most cases have been identified in health care facilities in the New York City region, but some have recently been reported from areas outside of the metropolitan area.

The Broome County Health Department says that there have not been any reported cases in the county.

Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald stressed that the increased spread is being addressed.

“It’s important that people understand that there is little risk from Candida auris to the general public. Candida auris typically infects people who are already sick, it is preventable by thorough hand washing and cleaned surfaces as well as personal protective equipment. At Governor Hochul’s direction, the Department continues to work with health care facilities throughout New York State to identify potential cases and slow the spread of Candida auris.”

All suspected or confirmed cases must be reported to the facility’s infection control department and the state Department of Health.

We will keep you updated with any new information from the Broome County Health Department.