People can get aspergillosis by breathing in microscopic Aspergillus spores from the environment. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick. However, people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to Aspergillus.
It’s difficult to avoid breathing in Aspergillus spores because the fungus is common in the environment. For people who have weakened immune systems, there may be some ways to lower the chances of developing a severe Aspergillus infection.
- Protect yourself from the environment.3,4 It’s important to note that although these actions are recommended, they haven’t been proven to prevent aspergillosis.
- Try to avoid areas with a lot of dust like construction or excavation sites. If you can’t avoid these areas, wear an N95 respirator (a type of face mask) while you’re there. Click here for more information about respirators.
- Avoid activities that involve close contact to soil or dust, such as yard work or gardening. If this isn’t possible,
- Wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when doing outdoor activities such as gardening, yard work, or visiting wooded areas.
- Wear gloves when handling materials such as soil, moss, or manure.
- To reduce the chances of developing a skin infection, clean skin injuries well with soap and water, especially if they have been exposed to soil or dust.
- Antifungal medication. If you are at high risk for developing invasive aspergillosis (for example, if you’ve had an organ transplant or a stem cell transplant), your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to prevent aspergillosis.5,6 Scientists are still learning about which transplant patients are at highest risk and how to best prevent fungal infections.
- Testing for early infection. Some high-risk patients may benefit from blood tests to detect invasive aspergillosis.7,8 Talk to your doctor to determine if this type of test is right for you.
For more information about indoor mold, including cleanup and remediation recommendations, please visit CDC’s Basic Facts about Mold webpage.
If you are a healthcare provider or healthcare infection control practitioner, click here for aspergillosis prevention guidelines and other resources.9