Aspergillus Infection Risks in Hospitals, Homes and Buildings
Clark Seif Clark provides infection control and indoor environmental quality testing, consulting and training services to identify and mitigate exposure risks to microbial pathogens.
Aspergillosis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by a fungal pathogen known as Aspergillus. It is a common type of mold found outdoors and in indoor environments. It can be found at excessive concentrations indoors when buildings suffer water damage or elevated humidity levels.
Fortunately, most healthy people breathe Aspergillus spores without infection concerns. However, some species are known to be a serious infection risk for individuals with comorbidities such as weakened immune systems or lung disease.
Of the approximately 180 species of Aspergillus, fewer than 40 of them are known to cause infections in humans according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency lists Aspergillus fumigatus as the most common cause of human infections. Some of the other infectious species include A. flavus, A. terreus, A. nidulans, A. niger and A. versicolor. Exposure typically occurs through inhalation, although occasional outbreaks of cutaneous infection have been traced to contaminated biomedical devices.
Various types of aspergillosis include:
· Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)
· Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus
· Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis
· Invasive aspergillosis
· Cutaneous aspergillosis
“Overexposure to molds can increase health risks for building occupants. Places such as hospitals, nursing homes and other built environments with patients, residents or other occupants with an elevated risk of developing aspergillosis need to be especially aware of indoor mold growth as it can increase exposure to Aspergillus and other molds above ambient concentrations,” said Derrick A. Denis, Disaster Ready Emergency Preparedness and Infection Control (DR EPIC) Program Industrial Hygienist and Senior Vice President for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) due to Aspergillus are also associated with exposure to dust from building renovations and construction. Like many other types of mold, Aspergillus can also act as an allergen, respiratory irritant and even an asthma trigger for some people.”
Since airborne and settled Aspergillus is common across the globe at background concentrations in both indoor and outdoor environments, it takes an experienced industrial hygienist or infection control professional to properly assess indoor conditions. To help in this effort, the experts at CSC are dedicated to identifying and mitigating indoor exposure risks to Aspergillus and other microbial pathogens. CSC even sponsored an educational video about aspergillosis and Aspergillus that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/65UByEn6Oxc
To learn more about this or other infection control, industrial hygiene, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.csceng.com, email email@example.com or call (800) 807-1118.
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.