ALABAMA (WDHN) — Over the last year, the Centers for Disease Control has tracked a large increase in Candida Auris cases.

That’s a potentially deadly fungus that has been around for at least six years now.

Right now, the CDC says it’s a serious global health threat.

“What’s unique about this specific yeast, Candida Auris, is that it significantly spreads,” Dr. Michelle Barron said.

CDC experts say the fuel behind the spread stems from the pandemic. Hospitals and Healthcare facilities were dedicated to providing care for COVID-19 patients, so standard general infection prevention and control efforts in healthcare facilities lacked.

So far, 28 states have at least one case of Candida Auris.

Alabama has six cases and one of the states that border Alabama, Florida, has more than 300.

This yeast infection can transfer from person to person causing a major problem.

“You can have spots on your skin that are like a regular yeast infection kind of raised and red and itchy would satellite lesions,” Dr. Ivan Melendez said. “And then you have fevers you can have your increased heart rate by now it’s in your blood system.”

The fungus does not pose a threat to the healthy population, but those with weakened immune systems or people who have a hard time fighting off infections and diseases are at high risk.

Hospital or nursing home patients who have had tubes in their bodies are also at high risk.

The fungus disease could cause severe infections and a high death rate ranging from 30 to 60 percent.

Doctors say the best way to prevent C.Auris is to stay away from those with the infection and practice good hand washing, especially when visiting healthcare facilities.