Written by By Andrew Wilkie, CNN
Nearly 8,000 times more deadly than the Swine Flu, the Candida Sores infection (CS) could help inform the prevention of human disease in the coming years as it enters our world in record numbers.
Before the year 2000, the CS was commonly referred to as “a bacteria that causes cat bites, pimples and bug bites,” but the tongue-in-cheek, comedy-leaning name no longer applies.
In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global warning after a spike in cases, which it ascribed to a new strain dubbed the “United States/Paxil syndrome” (USPS). The infection was at the time only in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea but the USP was spreading to 12 other countries.
The WHO declared it a pandemic and the global death toll topped 783. This week, the Cook Islands confirmed it is the first country to have recorded a documented case of the infection, suggesting that a robust surveillance network is now in place to help track and contain CS.
Though mortality rates remain low compared to other viral infections, CS has become a much more common and devastating illness. A 2017 survey conducted by the British Medical Journal found that the number of cases — particularly in Asian countries, such as China and Indonesia — was on the rise.
These findings were backed up by the WHO. According to the agency, “in the past decade CS infections have increased in Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Iran.” In China alone, 2014 saw 65,600 cases of CS, accounting for 50% of all the cases reported in the country.
Covid disease is caused by S. aureus, a yeast-like pathogen that hides among the body’s healthy tissue, growing in a colony in the eyelids of sufferers. The resulting infection causes eye pain, itching, inflammation and pustules.
Recent surgical findings suggest the eyeball — and not only the nose — is a the perfect spot for CS. Researchers observed that the microbes were hiding in the eye sockets of an organism named Spinoza’s ophthalmia — the first known case of CS infection in a human.
Acclaimed British eye physician Professor George Washington has also speculated the root cause could be lurking around corners of our eyelids.