A member of the fungi kingdom commonly found in our bodies, our food, and even harnessed by humans for its fermentation properties in beer and bread—this season's super bug isn't really a bug at all but rather a deadly adaptive new species of yeast that's "behaving like bacterium" and has scientists scratching their heads.
According to a frightening new piece in Wired, the new yeast was first discovered and named by microbiologists Kazuo Satoh and Koichi Makimura in the oozing ear infection of a 70-year-old woman in Tokyo, Japan in 2009. Candida auris as it's called (named for the Latin word for “ear”) is so easily transmitted that one lead researcher called it “more infectious than Ebola” at the 20th Congress of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology in Amsterdam last week.
That researcher was Dr. Tom Chiller, the chief of mycotic diseases at the CDC, who recently told Wired:
This bug is the most difficult we’ve ever seen.