Experts believe that as many as 1.5 million people die from undiagnosed fungal infections each year. We ask why fungal infections often go undiagnosed and examine what steps medical professionals are taking to improve fungal infection diagnosis.
Fungal Infections Produce Similar Symptoms as Bacterial or Viral Infections
When patients present with fungal infections, physicians often do not test for them because the symptoms resemble those patients experience with other conditions. In the US, for instance, patients suffering from Valley Fever were diagnosed as having bacterial pneumonia, even though it would have been easy to establish the presence of this fungal infection.
Doctors often misdiagnosed fungal infections for viral or bacterial infections, causing them to overprescribe antibiotics, which has led to a world-wide antibiotic resistance issue.
Raising Awareness of Fungal Infections among Medical Professionals
A lack of awareness among doctors is one reason why fungal infections often go undiagnosed. To tackle this issue and improve the chances of recovery for those suffering from fungal infections, medical bodies like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have organized special events.
By educating physicians on the various fungal infections, symptoms, diagnostics, and treatments, these organizations are hoping to encourage them to test for fungal infections each time a patient presents with a set of symptoms.
Inexpensive and Fast Diagnostic Tests for Fungal Infections Are Available
So, this is why fungal infections often go undiagnosed. The good news is that fungal infection diagnostic tests are available and inexpensive. Fungal infection fatality numbers may fall considerably provided medical professionals all over the world begin testing for fungal infection.
What’s more, people suffering from fungal infection will then receive antifungal treatment and have a better chance of recovering. We would advise anyone to ask their doctor to test for fungal infections.