A few years back, 28 pediatric patients were temporarily relocated from a Dallas hospital due to aspergillus fungus. This fungus has been linked to deaths in children at other hospitals throughout the country as well. However, with routine air quality testing in Massachusetts, hospitals, and other health care facilities can maintain the safest environment for their patients.
Our experts at Purely Green Environmental are taking a more in-depth look at the mold we call aspergillus.
What is aspergillus fungus?
Aspergillus is a common mold that grows in both indoor and outdoor environments. In fact, this mold is so common that most of us breathe it in every day with no adverse reactions. However, for those with weakened immune systems, aspergillus can pose significant health risks.
Below is a list of different types of aspergillosis:
- Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis. ABPA occurs when aspergillosis causes inflammation within the lungs resulting in wheezing or coughing, but not an infection.
- Allergic Aspergillus Sinusitis. Similar to ABPA, this condition lies within the sinuses causing symptoms similar to a sinus infection, but, again, without the infection.
- Azole-Resistant Aspergillus Fumigatus. This condition refers to a situation in which a specific species of aspergillus becomes resistant to the medicines used in treatment.
- Aspergilloma. When a ball of fungus grows on the lungs or in the sinuses, without spreading further in the body, it’s referred to as aspergilloma or fungus ball.
- Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis. This condition occurs when an infection in the lungs is present. This can be a long-term condition if not promptly treated.
- Invasive Aspergillosis. Commonly affecting the lungs, invasive aspergillosis is also known to spread throughout the body. This infection is considered serious, especially in those with weak immune systems.
- Skin Aspergillosis. When aspergillus enters the body through a break in the skin and causes infection, it’s referred to as skin or cutaneous aspergillosis.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In order to diagnose aspergillus, most providers will order a chest x-ray or CT scan of your lungs or other areas of your body that are experiencing symptoms. Fluid from your lungs, tissue biopsy, and blood tests are additional measures that have been used.
Depending on the type of aspergillosis that is found, treatment will vary. Although antifungal medications can be used, if the condition is severe enough, surgery may also be recommended.
Purely Green Environmental provides full-service indoor air quality testing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Our firm is dedicated to improving air quality in both residential and commercial properties.