IDSA updates guidance for invasive mold infections: 5 things to know

The Infectious Diseases Society of America recently released new guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of aspergillosis, an invasive, potentially deadly fungal infection. Here are five things to know about the mold and the IDSA's new guidance.

1. Aspergillosis is caused by Aspergillus, an airborne mold that can live in air conditioning units, compost piles and damp or flood-damaged homes and buildings. People at highest risk for an infection include immunosuppressed patients, patients in the intensive care unit, people with severe influenza or people on long-term steroids.

2. Aspergillosis comes in three forms: an allergic reaction, a chronic lung infection and an invasive infection. Invasive aspergillosis affects roughly 200,000 people worldwide and can kill 40 to 80 percent of those infected.

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3. IDSA's new guidelines, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, update its 2008 guidance. The guidance urges early diagnosis through new means like blood tests, cultures and computed tomography imaging.

4. The guidance covers new, better-tolerated antifungal medications and new versions of existing medications.

5. Some at-risk patients — including those with neutropenia and graft versus host disease — should be treated with antifungals to prevent an infection, according to the new guidelines.

More articles on mold infections:
UPMC settles one mold infection lawsuit for $1.35M
UPMC mold infections stemmed from improper use of negative-pressure rooms, CDC says — 5 things to know
Fourth UPMC patient with mold infection dies after outbreak

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