Frequently asked Questions about Screening for Candida auris
Why have I been contacted?
Because the germ Candida auris can be spread in a healthcare settings, it is possible that you came into contact with it by being in the same facility as a patient who had this germ. The healthcare facility or health department is contacting people who might have come into contact with this germ, to ask them to get a test to see if they are also now carrying the germ. This is done as part of their work to stop this resistant germ from spreading to other people.
Why is it important for me to be tested for this germ?
It is important for you to be tested for this germ for two reasons. First, your doctors will be able to make better decisions for you about your medical care if they know whether you carry this germ. Second, the healthcare facility and health department need to know who is carrying the germ to that they can help prevent it from spreading. Some people can carry this germ on their skin without knowing it and they can spread the germ to others without realizing it. Preventing the spread of this germ is very important so that this germ doesn’t become common in healthcare settings in your community.
How can I be tested for this germ?
People carry this kind of germ on their skin, so the best way to test for this germ is to swab inside your armpit and groin. The nurse or doctor will use a swab to gently rub your armpits and the area where your leg joins your body (groin). The procedure is not painful and there should be no side effects. The swab will be sent to a lab, and within a few days, the lab will report the results to your healthcare provider (typically within one or two weeks).
Do I have a choice to be tested?
Yes, being tested is voluntary. You can choose not to get tested. However, if you decline testing and get sick later with a disease caused by this germ or with some other disease, your doctors will be able to make better treatment decisions for you if they know whether you carry this germ.
What happens if these germs are found on me?
If the test is positive, it means you are carrying the germs on your body. Most people who carry the germ never get sick from it. If the germ is not making you sick (causing infection), you will not need treatment. If you do get sick, it will help your doctor to know you carry this germ when making treatment decisions. If your test is positive, your nurses and doctors will take extra steps to protect you and to make sure the germ does not spread to other patients. Your nurses and doctors will make sure the germ does not spread to other patients by placing you in a room without a roommate and by wearing a gown and gloves when caring for you. Your doctor might recommend you get another test later to see if the germ is gone. However, not everyone will need another test.
If your test is negative, you don’t carry this germ.
Your test results will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law. The results will be shared with you, your healthcare providers, and the health department.
If I do carry the germ, should I worry about it spreading to my family members when they come to visit me?
The risk of spreading this germ to your family and friends is low, but family and visitors should wash their hands well after caring for you or visiting you to decrease the chance of getting the germ. You should also wash your hands often.
What else should I know if I do carry this germ?
If you receive medical care at a healthcare facility such as a hospital or nursing home in the future, be sure to let your healthcare providers know about the results so that they can make the best treatment decisions for you and take steps to prevent spreading the germ to others.