Doctors in New York have reported the first cases of ringworm that do not respond to drugs. The ringworm in the patients did not respond to oral treatment.


What Is Ringworm?

According to the New York Department of Health,

Ringworm is a common, contagious skin infection. Ringworm is NOT caused by a worm. A type of fungus called a dermatophyte causes it. Dermatophytes also cause other common skin, hair, and nail infections, including athlete's foot and jock itch.

Ringworm Symptoms

Symptoms of a ringworm infection include itchy, red, raised, scaly patches that are in the shape of a circle or a ring. These rings are frequently more red around the edges with normal skin tone in the center. A patient's finger and toenails may be discolored, thick or crumble. The patient may have bald patches on their scalp.

How Is Ringworm Spread?

It can be spread by skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread by contaminated items, unwashed clothing, and shower surfaces. Some cats and dogs can carry the fungus and spread it to people.


Two Women In New York City Found To Have Drug-Resistant Ringworm Infections

The two women are located in the New York City area and are unrelated. The two drug-resistant infections were caused by Trichophyton indotineae. These two cases are the first of Trichophyton indotineae in the United States. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control,

Patient A, a 28-year-old woman, developed a ringworm rash during the summer of 2021. She was in her third trimester of pregnancy at the time and had no underlying medical conditions. Patient A had no exposure to anyone else with a rash, nor had she travelled internationally. She took oral terbinafine therapy for two weeks, but it was discontinued after the infection did not respond to the medication. Patient A's rash was resolved after a 4-week course of itraconazole treatment.

Patient B, a 47-year-old woman with no major medical conditions, developed a widespread ringworm infection in the summer of 2022. She was in Bangladesh at the time of infection. Several of her family members were experiencing similar rashes. Patient B went the emergency room three times. She was given three different treatments - hydrocortisone 2.5% ointment and diphenhydramine (visit 1), clotrimazole cream (visit 2), and terbinafine cream (visit 3) - but saw no improvement. She finally saw an 80 percent improvement after a 4-week course of griseofulvin therapy.

Dr. Priya Soni, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles told CNN,

I think with globalization and just the travel that we’re going to see over the summer, this may be something that we may see more of as the months go on.

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