Fungal diseases are often caused by fungi that are common in the environment. Most fungi are not dangerous, but some types can be harmful to health. Mild fungal skin diseases can look like a rash and are very common. Fungal diseases in the lungs are often similar to other illnesses such as the flu or tuberculosis.
Fungal diseases can be extremely serious and, particularly for those with compromised immune systems, even life-threatening. People living with HIV; cancer patients; people who are admitted to hospital; people who are critically ill after trauma or surgery; and premature babies are among those most at risk.
The Fungal Disease Awareness Week is observed from 21-25 September 2020 and aims to acknowledge the public health importance of life-threatening fungal diseases, which form a hidden epidemic because they affect patients with weakened immune systems.
Serious fungal diseases can occur together with other illnesses and can be mistaken for, or masked by these illnesses. Increased awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways we can improve early recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment. We encourage healthcare providers and patients to “Think Fungus” when symptoms of infection do not get better with treatment.
Read more on fungal diseases that affect people with weakened immune systems