Outbreaks and Investigations


Fungal disease outbreaks are rare. An outbreak occurs when two or more people get sick from contact with the same source, sometimes in the same time or 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 or healthcare professionals:

Solving Fungal Outbreaks with Partnerships and Data

When fungal disease outbreaks occur, CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch works closely with federal, state, and local public health agencies and other partners. Together, they collect different types of data to find the source of the outbreak:

  • Epidemiologic data to answer questions such as “Who got sick?” “When?” and “Where?”
  • Patient samples such as blood or tissue are tested in a laboratory to find out which fungus is causing the illnesses.
  • Environmental samples can help health officials determine if fungi in the environment match the patient samples, providing clues about where they might have gotten infected.
A man analyzing epidemiologic data.

Analyzing epidemiologic data

A man testing patient samples.

Testing patient samples

A woman collecting environmental samples from a hospital

Collecting environmental samples from a hospital