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Schumer Calls On CDC To Declare Emergency Over Superbug Fungus Spreading In N.Y.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- U.S. Sen Chuck Schumer is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare a public health emergency over the Candida auris fungus, a drug-resistant fungus that's spreading at health care facilities.

The Senate Democratic Leader says doing so would make New York eligible for millions of dollars in funding.

"We're here to say, now more than ever, with something as deadly as Candida auris, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Schumer said. "The CDC has the power to declare Candida auris the superbug an emergency and money would flow to New York."

More than half of the 613 confirmed U.S. cases have been in New York. Illinois has had 156 cases, and New Jersey has had 106.

Schumer says the funding could be used to boost testing for Candida auris and raise awareness.

MORE: Superbug Fungus Sickens More Than 300 In New York State

The CDC says Candida auris is a problem because:

* It can cause bloodstream infections, wound infections, ear infections.

* It can kill you.

* It is often resistant to medicines.

* It is becoming more common.

* It's hard to identify.

* It can spread in hospitals and nursing homes through contact with affected patients and contaminated surfaces or equipment.

The CDC has previously declared public health emergencies over Zika, Ebola and H1N1.

Click here for more information about Candida auris.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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