A 2013 study analyzing data from 30 different countries found that nearly half of all adults infected with cystic fibrosis (CF) were also afflicted with “an aspergillus fungal infection”. The United States has the largest patient population of CF diagnoses in the world.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that drastically reduces a person’s lifespan. Patients with CF deal with a thick, sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and prevent natural enzymes from breaking down food and absorbing nutrients effectively. The thick mucus lining CF patients’ lungs provides a perfect environment for aspergillus spores to grow.
But what is an aspergillus fungal infection? And why is it dangerous?
The Dangers of Aspergillus
Aspergillus is a common mold that can reside both indoors and outdoors. Many people can breathe in mold spores without becoming sick, but people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are more at-risk.
According to researchers, aspergillus can cause severe complications that can affect lung function. Aspergillosis can cause bronchitic, airway infections, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), which can manifest with symptoms similar to asthma.
Signs and Symptoms of Aspergillosis
There are different types of aspergillosis that can cause a range of symptoms. Common symptoms of ABPA can include:
- Shortness of breath
Other forms of aspergillosis can cause symptoms with varying severity. These include headache, runny nose, stuffiness, fatigue, coughing up blood, chest pain, and other symptoms if the infection spreads to other areas of the body.
People living with cystic fibrosis and others with weakened immune systems are more likely to be affected by aspergillosis. Aspergillus spores can be found around construction sites as well as in outdoor activities such as gardening or landscaping. In your home, aspergillus is common in building materials that are affected by moisture damage and mold growth.
New research shows that mold growth can be especially detrimental to the health of people living with CF. If you think you may be dealing with a mold problem, contact the mold remediation experts at JW Home Care online or by phone at (805) 443-3232 to get help today.