OCT 02, 2016 01:14 PM PDT

Deadly Fungal Infections Kill Over a Million per Year

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

We are surrounded by fungus. They live in different climates, indoors and outdoors on a huge variety of surfaces including skin. While there are an estimated 1.5 million species of fungus on the planet, it seems only around 300 of them can make people very sick. People can die from the illnesses, with around 1.5 million people dying from fungal infections every year worldwide - that's more than some common diseases like breast cancer.

The yeast Candida is normally a harmless resident of human skin, but overgrowth can cause candiasis. Since 2009, hospitals in several countries have reported that an infection from yeast called Candida auris resulted in severe illness in patients. It is a difficult to treat infection. Other types of Candida infections are becoming resistant to antifungal treatments.

Another fungus, Aspergillus, lives outdoors and is normally breathed in without detrimental effect. However, people with compromised immunity re at risk for developing aspergilliosis, a disease caused by the fungus. There are several types that affect the lungs; they range from mild to serious.

Preventative measures include the appropriate use of antibiotics as well as simply keeping hospitals and their patients clean.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
Here's Why NASA Wants to Learn More About Metallic Asteroids
NASA’s Psyche mission will investigate the properties of a unique metallic asteroid residing between Mars and Jupiter as it orbits the Sun. It’...
NOV 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 17, 2019
Here's What Happens Inside a Caterpillar's Chrysalis
When a caterpillar undergoes the complex biological process of metamorphosis, it does so inside of a pointy bean-shaped enclosure that many people like to...
NOV 17, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 17, 2019
Greenland's Summer Melt Helps Scientists Track Sea Level Rise
This summer, the Greenland Ice Sheet experienced a significant melting event not seen since 2002, mainly due to the heatwave that swept through most of Eur...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
ESA's Solar Orbiter is Nearly Ready to Launch
Move over Parker Solar Probe, there’s a new Sun-orbiting spacecraft in town. The European Space Agency has completed the assembly of the Solar Orbite...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
Did You Miss the Mercury Transit? Here's NASA's Footage
Monday was a particularly exciting day for amateur astronomers. It was the day that the planet Mercury performed a visible transit across the Sun’s s...
NOV 17, 2019
Health & Medicine
NOV 17, 2019
Antibiotic Resistance by the Numbers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released its latest Antibiotic Threats in the United States report, which is summarized in the vi...
Loading Comments...