New York and federal health officials have issued warnings about two cases of a drug-resistant and highly contagious skin infection in New York City.

The new report, Published at the end of last week The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked two local cases of ringworm rash to a type of fungus called Trichophyton indotinae. This species is common in South Asia, and is a type of fungus known as A. dermatophyte moldThat is, it needs protein in the skin to grow.

But none of the NYC cases could be linked to overseas travel, suggesting the germ is spreading locally in the U.S. Even with resistance to first-line drugs, this strain of the fungus can still be treated with other drugs.

Dr. Avrom Kaplan, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Health, alerted public health officials in February of the two patients whose conditions did not improve after regular oral treatment. Both had severe cases of ringworm rashes, which are easily transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Kaplan treated one of his patients with Langone and co-authored the CDC report.

He said the rashes on this patient were more itchy than the average ringworm. Oral medications also failed to relieve her symptoms.

“We have been alerted to this infection over the years by our colleagues in India and elsewhere,” Kaplan said. “This particular patient had many of the characteristics he was reporting.”

Genomic sequencing a month later revealed that both women were isolated from each other and infected with the fungus Trichophyton endothenae. Ringworm rashes caused by this species are often swollen and itchy. They are commonly distributed on the face, body, thighs and genital area.

The first of the two cases was in the summer of 2021 when a 28-year-old pregnant woman developed a widespread rash. In the year After she gave birth in January 2022 and was prescribed an antifungal medication, her breakouts continued. She has not had any recent international travel.

The second patient, a 47-year-old woman, first developed ringworm while visiting Bangladesh, where the strain is common. Once she returned to the US, doctors prescribed four different treatments to no avail. Her husband and son reported similar rashes.

However, Kaplan said community transmission is “hard to prove at this point” because of the small number of cases. Despite the CCC report, the risk level for most people is low, and the warning is mostly given to doctors who have encountered this rare disease, he said. The report. Images included What the two infections look like.

“People should not worry about this,” he said. “The important takeaways here are especially for clinicians and public health officials. So, we know public health officials want this, they’ve been looking for it.”

While the fungus is new to the U.S., health officials have already reported cases across Asia, Europe and Canada, the CDC said. The agency linked the rise in the problem to “inappropriate use” of topical steroids, commonly used to treat infections.

Both women described in the CDC report recovered from their rashes after receiving extended treatment regimens.

The biggest concern with the bandits is chronic relapse, which, Kaplan says, is common among patients in other countries.

Although Kaplan states that the average person should not be overly cautious when it comes to Trichophyton endothelium, he said that people who believe they may be infected should immediately “seek a doctor’s advice rather than using over-the-counter creams or medications.” Found by friends and loved ones.

Officials at the New York City Health Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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