Candida auris - a drug-resistant fungus - is causing alarm as it spreads across US healthcare facilities at an 'alarming rate'.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning of an 'urgent antimicrobial resistance threat' that presents a 'serious' threat to global health.

It is often multidrug-resistant and can be difficult to identify but scientists have stressed it doesn't want people thinking that it will lead to an apocalyptic fungus outbreak as depicted in HBO's smash hit The Last Of Us.

Speaking to NBC News,  an epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York, Dr Waleed Javaid, an epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York, commented that the spread of C.auris is “worrisome”.

Dr Javaid added: “But we don’t want people who watched The Last of Us to think we’re all going to die.

“This is an infection that occurs in extremely ill individuals who are usually sick with a lot of other issues.”

Here's what Candida Auris is, when it was first identified and what the experts are saying.

What is Candida auris?

The CDC has said that Candida auris or C. auris is a type of yeast that can potentially pose a deadly threat to people with weakened immune systems if it enters their bloodstream.

Between 30% and 60% of people who get sick from C.auris die from their infections, according to the CDC.

Signs and symptoms of Candida auris

A high fever and chills which do not respond to antibiotic treatment for suspected bacterial infections are among the most common symptoms for C.auris.

The CDC has said that it is difficult to tell between the symptoms of the infection and the illness signs from previous medical conditions. 

C.auris has led to infections in the bloodstream, ear and within wounds.

How is Candida auris diagnosed?

We need special lab tests to diagnose C.auris since it is diagnosed by culture of blood or other bodily fluids but it can be hard to identify from other cultures. 

When was Candida auris first identified?

C.auris was first identified in Japan in 2009

However, following a retrospective review, the earliest known traces of the C.auris strain were found in South Korea in 1996.

Since then, the fungus has been spotted in around 30 countries and was first identified in the US in 2016.

It has now been found within more than half of American states, according to CDC's tracking data.

Has Candida auris ever been found in the UK?

After first being identified in 2009, there have been large outbreaks in India, South Africa, Spain, North and South America and in the UK.

At the beginning of July 2017, 20 separate NHS Trusts and independent hospitals in the United Kingdom had detected over 200 patients colonised or infected with C. auris.

By mid-August, all three hospitals had declared their outbreaks over.