What is Candida? Candida is the scientific name for a genus of fungi. Candida infections, also called candidiasis, are often referred to as yeast or fungal infections. When they occur in the mouth and throat, Candida infections are called thrush. The most common sites of infection include the mouth and throat, the genitals, and moist skin folds. Candida can also cause a systemic, or body-wide, infection, but this is very rare, occurring in less than 0.1% of cases every year in the United States (Source: CDC). Candida can cause inflammation in the infected tissues. Cutaneous, or skin, Candida infections tend to appear as red, weepy, scaly areas. Candida infections can also cause pus-filled bumps. In the mouth and throat, the infection often forms thick, white patches. Genital Candida infections often produce a thick, white vaginal discharge. Candida occurs naturally in the environment and may also be present on skin surfaces, in the mouth and digestive tract, and in the vagina without causing problems. However, infections can occur in otherwise healthy people when they take antibiotics or have areas of skin that are constantly moist. People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing Candida infections, including systemic infections. Treated appropriately, Candida infections often resolve, although they may recur. Candida infections are rarely serious or life threatening unless they are systemic infections. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as fever and chills that don’t improve, confusion, lethargy, loss or change in level of consciousness, seizure, decreased urine output, rapid heart rate, chest pain, severe abdominal pain, and unusual irritability or poor feeding in a child. Seek prompt medical care if you have never had a Candida infection before and believe you have one, if you are being treated for Candida but symptoms recur or are persistent, or if you have any other concerns. Also seek prompt medical care if you have fevers and chills that are not responsive to therapy or have difficulty swallowing.