Health officials in US state of Oregon have said that there were three new cases of Candida auris confirmed in the state.
The reported cases of a rare fungal infection that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have described as posing a “serious” concern for the world, were the first ones for Oregon.
The initial case was discovered on December 11. It was detected in a patient with “recent international healthcare exposures,” according to officials.
The next two cases were found in the following weeks.
The outbreak occurred at Salem Health in Salem, Oregon.
Oregon health officials warned that the infection “particularly” causes serious infections in those who already have “serious medical problems.”
Candida auris was first identified in 2009 but did not appear in the US until 2013. The CDC has since found over 1,100 positive clinical cases of the infection, which includes both confirmed and probable cases, according to their website. Texas, New York, Illinois, California, and Florida have all reported the most cases, ranging from 135 to 285.
According to the CDC, Candida auris “presents a serious global threat” and mostly spreads locally through healthcare facilities. It is described as highly transmittable and can cause severe “invasive infections” in 5-10% of those affected. Symptoms can include fever and chills, and the fungus can spread through contaminated areas or via close contact with someone who has it.
Jasmin Chaudhary, medical director of infection prevention at Salem Health, said in the latest announcement that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a “rise in multi-drug resistant organisms” like Candida auris.