Tuesday December 11, 2018

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies First US cases of Drug-Resistant Fungal Infection

Thirteen individuals have become ill from a serious and sometimes fatal fungal infection previously unseen in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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November 5, 2016: Thirteen individuals have become ill from a serious and fatal fungal infection previously unseen in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

The fungus, Candida auris, is known to occur in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes, CNN reported.

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Seven cases occurred between May 2013 and August 2016 in four states: Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. As of August 31, four of these seven patients, all with bloodstream infections, died, though it is unclear whether their deaths were due to C. auris.

The remaining six cases were identified after August and are still under investigation.

“It appears that C. auris arrived in the United States only in the past few years,” Dr. Tom Chiller, Chief of the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, said in a statement.

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He added that scientists are working to better understand the fungus so they can develop recommendations to protect those at risk.

C. auris bloodstream infections have a 50 percent fatality rate in some countries, according to one study.

Some strains of this yeast are multidrug-resistant and cannot be treated by the three major classes of antifungal medications.

First reported in 2009 in Japan, cases have been recorded in South Korea, India, South Africa, Kuwait, Colombia, Venezuela, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

“Experience outside the United States suggests that C. auris has high potential to cause outbreaks in healthcare facilities,” the CDC notes on its website.

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Importantly, this deadly organism is difficult to identify using traditional laboratory biochemical methods. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?