Many common medical conditions complicate the coronavirus infection. Those who suffer from heart or lung conditions or obesity remain at greater risk from the virus. New evidence also suggests that an infection from the mold aspergillus affects COVID-19 patients at a high rate well.
Hidden Dangers of Mold Colonies
Aspergillus is a type of fungus that grows both indoors and out. These mold colonies take on shades of green, yellow, brown, or black when grown in conditions of 77°F. It is a very common mold found in soil, sand, fresh water, and food. Common building materials also contain the mold. While we all breathe in these mold spores every day with no ill effect, some molds produce strong mycotoxins.
Signs of Aspergillus Infection
Aspergillosis, an infection caused by aspergillus, causes allergic reactions. For the most part, exposure to aspergillus happens through the respiratory system. Worse yet, those with lung disease or weakened immune systems remain at risk of developing complications with this infection.
Signs of aspergillosis infection may include a mild cough or even no symptoms at all. For those with medical conditions such as emphysema or tuberculosis, a mass called aspergilloma can form in the lungs. In severe cases, the infection may spread to the brain, heart, kidneys, as well as skin. Symptoms of this invasive form of aspergillosis include chest or joint pain, shortness of breath, headaches, and skin lesions. Aspergillus also infects the sinuses leading to fever, headaches, stuffy nose, and facial pain.
Aspergillus Affects COVID-19
People with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk of infection from aspergillus as well as the coronavirus that causes SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19). In fact, many patients with COVID-19 get infected with aspergillus at the same time. This condition, called COVID-19 associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA), occurs in 14% of COVID-19 patients. The majority of those with CAPA require hospitalization.
Indoor Air Quality Methods to Control Aspergillus
Aspergillus can grow in any indoor environment. This includes healthcare facilities, gyms, offices, and commercial properties. Knowing how to control the mold is as important as understanding how aspergillus affects COVID-19.
Cleaning and Upkeep of HVAC Systems
Keeping up with maintenance and cleaning of HVAC systems prevents many IAQ problems. This includes the spread of airborne mold spores and viruses. For example, the PURE-Steam method cleans the air handling unit and evaporator coils. Additionally, the PURE-Duct method gets inside the ductwork using high-pressure air turbulence. Once knocked free, an industrial-strength vacuum system removes the debris. Afterwhich, PURE-Decon kills the remaining mold as well as bacteria and other pathogens. An HVAC Assessment verifies cleanliness and performance of the system.
Building Health Check
A Building Health Check uses field and lab evaluations to measure IAQ. An investigation includes an inspection, photo documentation, and sample collection. The EDLAb then looks for the presence of molds and viruses. The lab also logs temperature, relative humidity, and wall moisture levels.
Testing for Aspergillus and COVID-19
Knowing how aspergillus affects COVID-19 is the first step. Next comes controlling the spread followed by prevention against further outbreaks. Pure Air Controls helps businesses achieve their IAQ goals and protect their staff and customers. Contact Pure Air Controls today.