Candida auris emerged 10 years ago in Japan and can resist most drugs and disinfectants.
The yeast bug has now been found in at least 25 UK hospitals.
But it was not recorded as a cause of death because the victims were already seriously ill. Around 50 more Brits were infected.
A Public Health England spokesman said: “What seems to make Candida auris somewhat unique is that it spreads so easily from person to person.”
An outbreak at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 2017 came from underarm thermometers.
David Denning, professor of infectious diseases at Manchester University, said: “Candida auris is a shapeshifter. It also loves salt so it flourishes on skin areas such as the armpit and groin.’’