World Aspergillosis Day is observed every February 1. On this day, people across the globe gather to learn about Aspergillosis, a little-known infection, and share their knowledge with others in hopes of preventing future cases and promoting treatment and research initiatives.
History of World Aspergillosis Day
Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a fungus usually found in mold. Although it’s common for people to breathe it in from the air, this fungus only affects those predisposed to lung complications, such as people with asthma, tuberculosis, and cystic fibrosis. It can also affect individuals undergoing cancer treatment or recovering from a recent organ transplant. In addition, this infection occurs in birds and has different intensities, ranging from a simple sinus infection to a chronic form of lung nodes.
Uncomplicated infections can be treated and cared for using antifungal medication. However, chronic cases can only be treated with a high-risk surgical procedure that can result in death. Over half a million people die annually worldwide from complications related to Aspergillosis. The fungus ball in the lungs might not cause any symptoms and only be found through a chest X-ray, but in many cases, it may cause coughing, fevers, pain, and bleeding. If it goes untreated, Aspergillosis can spread to other organs and lead to liver and kidney failure.
Sometimes, a patient needs to be kept in an environmental infection control room to reduce mold exposure, which can further worsen their condition. Some fungus variations or mutations might resist certain steroids, making treatment much harder. It’s important to schedule routine examinations and start treatment as early as possible to prevent complications.
World Aspergillosis Day timeline
The Greek physician Hippocrates is reportedly one of the first documented victims of a fungal infection.
Microscopist David Gruby states that fungi could cause human diseases.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome (S.A.R.S.) outbreak infects over 8,000 people across almost 30 countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic infected more than half a billion people worldwide.
World Aspergillosis Day FAQs
What are the first signs of Aspergillosis?
The first signs of an Aspergillus infection are usually a fever, coughing blood, chest pain, headaches, and skin lesions.
Can Aspergillosis be treated?
Yes. Aspergillosis is normally treated using antifungal drugs, such as voriconazole and amphotericin B.
How long can you live with Aspergillosis?
The prognosis for Aspergillosis is a few months after undergoing an organ transplant.
How to Observe World Aspergillosis Day
Make an appointment
If you’ve felt any of the common first symptoms of Aspergillosis, this is probably the best day to schedule the doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off for too long. A doctor can help you treat the infection before it gets too bad.
Post about it
Share relevant information with all your friends and family on social media. The more people know about Aspergillosis, the more people can receive early treatment!
Read about Aspergillosis
Understanding the disease is probably one of the best ways to observe this day. Do your research to learn all about it!
5 Facts About Aspergillosis You Should Know
It can be deadly
If left untreated over time, Aspergillosis can reach a stage where it’s so chronic that it cannot be treated.
Although it spreads fast, Aspergillosis is treatable with antifungal medication and sometimes even surgery to remove lung nodes.
It’s pretty uncommon
Even though we’re constantly exposed to mold in the air, it’s quite uncommon for people with no previous lung or immune complications to get infected.
It’s hard to diagnose
It can be diagnosed through X-rays, computed tomography (C.T.) scans, or blood tests, but it’s so similar to other lung conditions that it can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for a long time.
Treatment can take a while
Invasive forms of Aspergillosis can take up to three months to fully treat with antifungal medication before the patient is considered healthy.
Why World Aspergillosis Day is Important
It’s all about health
Staying healthy and caring for our bodies are very important. Days like this remind us to keep in touch with our needs and listen to our bodies.
It raises awareness
This day reminds us to search for and share more information about Aspergillosis, a disease we don’t often hear about. Being aware of such an infection makes it easier to identify the symptoms.
It keeps us learning
We should always strive for knowledge, especially when it involves learning more about our bodies and the threats we might face. Doing so helps us prevent worst-case scenarios.
World Aspergillosis Day dates