Fungal Infection Still Rare, but Increasing, Afflicts the Ill
Mucorymycosis is a rare infection caused by a common fungus often found in soil and dying plants. While many people come in contact with the fungus harmlessly, it can cause severe and often fatal infections in people with susceptible immune systems. It is still rare, but appears to be increasing nationwide, possibly because or environmental changes and because more people are living longer with serious illnesses and compromised immunity. A New York Times story by Ian Urbina and Sheri Fink describes the confluence of events that led to a mucormycosis outbreak and five deaths at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. A story in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal identified bed linens as the vector for the infection, and the Times story explores the laundry problems and communications failures that slowed the outbreak’s detection.