Think Fungus: Fungal Disease Awareness Week

Fungal Disease Awareness Week 2022: September 19-23, 2022

Fungal Disease Awareness Week is September 19–23, 2022. CDC and partners have organized this week to highlight the importance of antifungal stewardship, reducing resistance to antifungal drugs, and recognizing serious fungal diseases early enough in the course of a patient’s illness to provide lifesaving treatment.

Some fungal diseases go undiagnosed, leading to serious illness and death. Increased awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways we can improve early recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment. A key clue to when a sick person may have a fungal disease is that he or she is being treated with medicine for another type of infection but does not get better.

We encourage healthcare providers and patients to “Think Fungus” when symptoms of infection do not get better with treatment. The quicker doctors can diagnose the right illness, the quicker patients can be treated the right way.

It’s important to consider fungal diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic because the symptoms of some fungal diseases can be like those of COVID-19, including  fever, cough, and shortness of breath. To provide appropriate care, laboratory testing is necessary to tell if a person has a fungal infection or COVID-19.

Confirming diagnosis of fungal infections can also help avoid unnecessary prescription of antifungals, which could increase resistance to antifungal drugs.

Antifungal drugs treat fungal infections by killing or stopping the growth of dangerous fungi in the body. Fungi can develop antimicrobial resistance, when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them—that means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Currently, only a small number of antifungal drug types exist, so resistance can severely limit treatment options.

Join us in sharing information to increase awareness in your community about fungal diseases.

Fungal Disease Awareness Week Activities

  • CDC and FDA co-hosted a virtual public workshop, “Drug Development Considerations for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections”. All meeting materials—including agenda, panelist affiliations/disclosures, speaker slides, workshop recording, and transcript—will be posted here.
  • The Mycoses Study Group Education & Research Consortium sponsored an episode in its Grand Rounds Webinar Series on addressing emergence resistance in invasive mold infections. The recording can be found here.
  • Join us on Wednesday, September 7, for a Zoonoses and One Health Updates (ZOHU) call on climate change and fungal diseases. For more information, please visit the ZOHU website.
  • The Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB) is sponsoring a public meeting on September 12–13. Please register here.
  • The Mycoses Study Group Education & Research Consortium is sponsoring a live Twitter chat on Monday, September 19, at 12:00 pm ET. Join the discussion on antifungal resistance and antifungal stewardship with @MSG_ERC and @CDC_NCEZID.

We will tweet every 6 minutes during the hour, starting with this tweet at 10 am ET: #AntimicrobialResistance is an emerging threat. Knowing when to prescribe antifungals or antibiotics can help reduce resistance in patients. Remember to #ThinkFungus when an illness is not getting better with antibiotics. #FungalWeek. #AntifungalResistance

We encourage you to tweet this message from your organization’s handle at 10 am ET and use the following hashtags in all of your tweets: #AntifungalResistance, #AntimicrobialResistance, #FungalWeek, and #ThinkFungus.