Three cases of a serious, frequently drug-resistant fungal infection were detected in patients at Salem Hospital.

According to a bulletin from the Oregon Health Authority, the first of the three cases of Candida auris was detected in Salem on Dec. 11 and confirmed Dec. 17 “in a patient who had recent international health care exposures.”

The two subsequent patients had not had such exposure but were epidemiologically linked to the first case, indicating health care-associated spread, the health authority said. Those cases were identified Dec. 23 and 27, respectively

“The fungus can cause serious infections, including bloodstream infections and wound infections,” according to the OHA. “It also has been isolated from respiratory and urine specimens and can colonize patients’ skin.” The pathogen has shown resistance to multiple anti-fungal drugs.

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