The rise of invasive fungal infections explained

The article highlights the overlooked issue of invasive fungal infections, which can be life-threatening, especially for immunocompromised individuals. Their rise is linked to medical procedures and antifungal resistance. The article stresses the importance of raising awareness and developing effective treatments for this growing public health concern.

The rise of invasive fungal infections explained

You probably know about athlete's foot and yeast infections — right now up to 1 in 4 people have athlete's foot across the globe, while 3 in 4 women will develop a vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime. But these well-known infections are only the tip of the fungal iceberg.

Although you may be aware of fungal skin infections, you may not be aware of "invasive" fungal infections, which can affect your lungs or spread to your organs through your blood.

These infections are on the rise and can be life-threatening, especially in immunocompromised people. For years, they have fallen under the radar of the general public. It was only last year that the World Health Organization released its first-ever list of health-threatening fungi.

This general lack of awareness has led to misdiagnosis of fungal infections in clinical settings and stymied development of medications to treat the problem.

It also makes it impossible for the WHO to conclusively estimate the burden of disease. Experts suggest invasive fungal infections kill up to 1.5 million people per year — for reference, that's around the number of deaths attributed to tuberculosis per year.