For Public Health and Healthcare Professionals: Investigating Fungal Disease Outbreaks
A fungal disease outbreak occurs when two or more people get sick from contact with the same source, sometimes at the same time and place. This can happen outdoors or in a health care setting, such as a hospital.
Detecting fungal outbreaks early is important so that the people affected can get the right treatment and so that health officials can prevent others from getting sick.
Public Health and Healthcare Professionals: here’s what to do if you suspect a fungal disease outbreak.
For healthcare-associated outbreaks (HAIs):
- Contact your state health department’s healthcare-associated infection (HAI) coordinator to consult on immediate next steps.
- A toolkit for investigating healthcare-associated infections provides resources for conducting an investigation.
- Candida auris
- Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat.
- CDC encourages all U.S. healthcare facility or laboratory staff who identify Candida auris to notify their state or local public health authorities.
- Health departments can contact CDC for guidance on investigating Candida auris cases and preventing transmission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Learn more about information for laboratorians and health professionals about Candida auris.
- Molds such as Aspergillus and mucormycetes
- First, healthcare facilities and clinical laboratories requesting assistance should contact their state or local public health authorities.
- Public health authorities, healthcare facilities, and laboratories can request CDC assistance with fungal diagnostics and epidemiologic investigations by emailing FungalOutbreaks@cdc.gov.
- When contacting CDC, health departments and healthcare facilities should prepare a summary of available information for discussion with public health authorities, including:
- Infection onset date(s)
- Clinical information on each patient (e.g., type of mold, underlying disease, date of diagnosis, and method of diagnosis)
- Location of patients within the facility, if hospitalized before infection
- Number of patients with mold infections at the facility in recent years
- Description of any investigation conducted to date
- Description of any recent construction work in or near the facility
- Consult guidance on investigating suspected outbreaks of mucormycosis in healthcare settingsexternal icon.
- Consider environmental investigation and sampling, within the context of an epidemiologic investigation pdf icon[PDF – 704 KB].
- For more information about indoor mold, including cleanup and remediation recommendations, please visit CDC’s Basic Facts about Mold web page.
For fungal disease outbreaks that are not healthcare-associated:
- First, healthcare facilities and clinical laboratories should contact their state or local public health authorities about a suspected outbreak.
- Public health authorities are encouraged to consult CDC on epidemiologic investigations and laboratory testing by emailing FungalOutbreaks@cdc.gov.
- Examples of these types of outbreaks include histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, and blastomycosis.
- Hartnett KP, Jackson BR, Perkins KM, Glowicz J, Kerins JL, Black SR, et al. A Guide to Investigating Suspected Outbreaks of Mucormycosis in Healthcare. J Fungi. 2019 Jul 24.external icon
- Targeted Environmental Investigation Checklist for Outbreaks of Invasive Infections Caused by Environmental Fungi (e.g., Aspergillus, Mucormycetes) pdf icon[PDF – 704 KB]
- Resources for state health departments investigating healthcare-associated infection outbreaks and patient notifications
- Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities, 2003
- Transplant-Transmitted Infection Toolkit
- Investigating an Outbreak, from Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice
- Laboratory Submission Information
- Candida auris: Information for Laboratorians and Health Professionals