Fungi in the news: How fungi kill millions globally

A CNN article by Susie East aimed to spread awareness of four fatal fungi genera: Cryptococcus, Candida, Aspergillus, and Pneumocystis. According to the article and one source, approximately 1.5 million people a year are killed from infections by fungal organisms, with 90% stemming from the four genera listed above. The article also states that Aspergillus infections are often misdiagnosed and can be deadly in as little as 10 days. Although the estimation is huge, anywhere from 1-2 billion people suffer from fungal infections a year. Most of the time, these cases are mild and easily treated. However, when a person’s immune system is suppressed, like with HIV/AIDS, these infections become life-threatening quickly.
An interesting anecdote from the article in regards to prevention mentioned that some hospitals are not allowing flowers to be brought into wards. Though not mentioned in this particular article, Burkholderia cepacia (a bacterial pathogen, but it actually was in the news recently for its role in killing a couple with cystic fibrosis), is a pathogen on some plants and general soil inhabitant. So, maybe a good takeaway from this article is to not bring flowers to people with compromised immune systems.

Up close and personal with some Aspergillus from the slide show in the article.

Link to the article here:



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