Public Awareness of Invasive Fungal Diseases – United States, 2019.

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Public Awareness of Invasive Fungal Diseases - United States, 2019.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1343-1346

Authors: Benedict K, Molinari NAM, Jackson BR

Fungal diseases range from minor skin and mucous membrane infections to life-threatening disseminated disease. The estimated yearly direct health care costs of fungal diseases exceed $7.2 billion (1). These diseases are likely widely underdiagnosed (1,2), and improved recognition among health care providers and members of the public is essential to reduce delays in diagnoses and treatment. However, information about public awareness of fungal diseases is limited. To guide public health educational efforts, a nationally representative online survey was conducted to assess whether participants had ever heard of six invasive fungal diseases. Awareness was low and varied by disease, from 4.1% for blastomycosis to 24.6% for candidiasis. More than two thirds (68.9%) of respondents had never heard of any of the diseases. Female sex, higher education, and increased number of prescription medications were associated with awareness. These findings can serve as a baseline to compare with future surveys; they also indicate that continued strategies to increase public awareness about fungal diseases are needed.

PMID: 32970658 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]