Highly Contagious, Drug-Resistant Ringworm Cases Detected in New York Raise Concerns


In a recent case study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two women in New York have been diagnosed with the first cases of a highly contagious and drug-resistant fungal infection known as ringworm. This infection has never been detected before in the United States, but federal medical professionals are now investigating the possibility of additional cases. The CDC report describes ringworm, also known as tinea, as a common and highly contagious superficial infection caused by dermatophyte molds that affect the skin, hair, or nails.

Over the past decade, severe and antifungal-resistant cases of tinea have emerged in South Asia, reaching epidemic proportions in the region. The two patients, aged 28 and 47, presented with lesions on various areas of their bodies, including thighs, buttocks, necks, and bellies. The first patient experienced a widespread pruritic eruption during her third trimester of pregnancy in 2021. She had no underlying medical conditions, no known exposure to a person with a similar rash, and no recent international travel history. The second patient, who had no significant medical conditions, developed a widespread eruption in the summer of 2022 while in Bangladesh. She and some of her family members were experiencing similar eruptions. Although she received treatment with topical antifungal and steroid combination creams, the infection did not respond to the usual recommended therapy.

This alarming situation has prompted the CDC to issue a cautionary advisory, urging people to be vigilant about circumstances that could lead to skin illnesses. The current treatment protocols recommended by dermatologists have proven ineffective against this drug-resistant strain of ringworm, emphasizing the urgent need for further research and development of alternative treatments. As the investigation continues, medical professionals and public health authorities are closely monitoring the situation to prevent the potential spread of this highly contagious fungal infection. Efforts are underway to raise awareness among healthcare providers and the general public to ensure timely identification, proper management, and effective control of the disease.


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