In 2017, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control initiated a new national observance–Fungal Disease Awareness Week. This holiday aims to increase awareness about fungal diseases, which can cause several illnesses, but often go undiagnosed. Awareness is the first step to reducing diagnosis delays.
This year’s theme is “Think Fungus” and aims to encourage the public and clinicians to consider the possibility of a fungal infection when observing a patient’s symptoms. It’s also important to remember that people with weakened immune systems are more likely to contact fungal diseases, but anyone is susceptible.
So what’s the need for this sort of observance? It’s estimated that nearly 150,000 infections for a single fungal disease (Valley fever) go undiagnosed annually. Antifungal resistance is a growing public health problem. And resistant infections lead to longer hospital stays and increased costs.
To learn more about fungal diseases and Fungal Disease Awareness Week, please visit the CDC’s website.