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Key factors associated with fungal infection risk are socio-demographic factors such as age, gender, race, and educational level

Uncategorized Nov 10, 2022

INTRODUCTION

Every year, fungi cause millions of deaths and tens of millions of infections around the world. In immunocompromised patients, fungi are mostly opportunistic, causing moderate to severe illness. Fungal infections are also linked to higher illness rates and high healthcare costs. The risk of serious fungal infection is decreasing, largely due to a reduction in HIV-associated infections. However, patients with certain underlying conditions are increasingly being affected by infections.

The effects of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status on fungal infections and associated patient outcomes have increased in healthcare settings. Previous research has shown a link between health disparities and fungal infections.

This research looked at the demographic and socio-economic factors connected with fungal infection risk in the United States up to 2019. The researchers used hospital discharge data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's National Inpatient Sample...

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Why I want to talk about one of the biggest health concerns of our time: mould and mycotoxin exposure

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2022

Mould and mycotoxin effects have been known for a long time. People started to study the effects on animals a lot. Then they did it with people too, but it is less well-known. Most of the time when we talk about water-damaged buildings, it is in the legal arena, but...

People can get sick from being around and exposed to moulds, mycotoxins, and water-damaged buildings. These things can make people have different kinds of signs and symptoms. Some of these look like neurologic problems that people usually get, like pain, movement problems, feeling really confused or not knowing what is going on, having balance or coordination problems, and even dementia. In this article [1], the author talks about how to tell the difference between these things and other neurologic diseases. This is important so that we can learn more about how mould/mycotoxin/water-damaged buildings affect the human nervous system and cause diseases.

Mould is known to cause complexes of local and focused pain...

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Fungal mycotoxins & ME/CFS could this be why you're tired?

Uncategorized Jun 27, 2022

Science is all about observation and forming hypotheses to answer questions. For scientists like myself, I’m interested in how the environment affects health, and specifically, how water-damaged buildings and exposure to poor indoor air quality can affect quality of life. For this week on The Mould Show, we're going to be talking about fungal mycotoxins and myalgic encephalomyelitis termed ME for short and chronic fatigue syndrome  (ME/CFS).

The reason I've chosen this topic is that I've met a family whom I've now done three separate mould inspections for.  Why this is unusual is that the symptoms experienced by the female occupant and her daughter are classic ME/CFS symptoms.  Across all 3 of the different properties hidden mould problems were discovered.  That information in itself was useful for this family and helped them to break their lease due to the fact that there was verified mould present. However, that's not the point of this podcast and even...

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Multiple Sclerosis and fungi – is there a link?

Uncategorized Jun 19, 2022

This week on The Mould Show we're going to be looking at the gut microbiome and in particular, some emerging research that is showing that the diversity of microorganisms found in the gut may be linked to different immune responses and may even affect the pathogenesis of conditions like multiple sclerosis, MS.

 

I'll be reviewing two of the dominant papers in the MS literature around gut microflora and looking at this concept of species diversity. In these papers, the scientists looked at the number of different microorganisms between healthy controls and MS patients.

 

Multiple sclerosis is a neuro-inflammatory autoimmune disease known to affect two and a half million people worldwide with most patients experiencing what is termed relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis which as the name suggests shows periods of stasis punctuated with symptoms but overwhelmingly moves towards more frequent symptoms as the disease progresses. There are currently no known treatments for...

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Can toxic indoor mould cause immunosuppression?

Uncategorized Jun 13, 2022

Imagine that at your workplace - you move to new offices and these offices are sited partially below ground level. Within three months of moving into the new offices, every person who works there has started to suffer from symptoms that are consistent with exposure to a water-damaged building and are reacting to the microbes and moulds that are commonly found in these environments.   

When the symptoms became unbearable, the office staff started looking for answers. This week on The Mould Show, I'm going to be reviewing the research results that carefully examined each of those office workers to work out two things:

Firstly, was the building contributing something toxic that the workers were being exposed to? And secondly, how could this be best measured by the medical doctors who were involved?

We all know that there's a shopping list of common symptoms associated with mould. Typically this includes headaches, fatigue, coughing, irritation, sneezing, the potential for...

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Hot vs Cold Water Washing & Fungi – Which is Better?

Uncategorized Jun 05, 2022

If you're dealing with water damage building interiors, or just wondering what is the best way to clean textiles and clothing that might have become mould contaminated - you might be thinking, why can't I just put them all into the washing machine? Your next question might be: is there something I can do to the washing cycle that will help reduce the population of any germs that might be on those textiles?  The answer is yes, there is an optimal way of washing your clothing to remove specific germs like classes of fungi that cause skin and nail infections. These fungi are termed dermatophytes and are superficial fungal infections that colonize the skin, hair, or nails. 

This group of fungi thrive in moist areas of the skin and are easily transferred to clothing and towels and they are also found in soil. The statistics around dermatophytes report that 20 to 25% of the world's population is currently infected with a dermatophyte fungus. 

A paper that was published in...

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Do It Yourself Mould Remediation Of Paper Documents

Uncategorized Mar 03, 2022

In Australia, we're currently suffering from torrential rain all along the east coast, affecting Queensland and New South Wales and potentially moving towards Victoria. Regardless of where you're living, unexpected water damage and mould may be a new problem for you to begin dealing with. This live stream and podcast will focus on how to deal with mould and water damage affecting paper documents. We can all imagine sodden books and libraries underwater, but I'll leave that problem for the archivists. This show segment will focus exclusively on how you can deal with mould contamination of paper documents. To do this, I’ll review a recent paper that came out that looked at how to sterilize paper during a crisis. The authors compared two types of sterilization methods called (1) gamma sterilization which uses radiation to perform cold sterilization and (2) dry heat sterilization. Why this paper is interesting is that all of us have access to dry heat using a convection drying...

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One Family's Experience With Building Related Illness

Uncategorized Feb 08, 2022

Many people ask me the question: can you really get sick from spending time inside a water-damaged property? Or another related question: Does mould really make people sick? Sometimes I even get questions along the lines of: I can understand why people might not like the smell of mould or even its visual presence, but surely, a little bit of mould can't hurt you?

If you've ever been part of these conversations, and want definitive proof that mould can in fact, cause serious problems for occupants then this live stream and podcast is for you. A paper came out at the end of 2021 in the GMS Hygiene and Infection Control Journal discussing the situation for a family of five, who developed severe health problems after spending six years inside a water damaged home. Your first reaction might be: why did they stay six years? For many people, this is unavoidable and for this family, it was because it was a new home construction. They battled on trying the get the builder to fix...

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Does mould harm children's health?

Uncategorized Jan 16, 2022

I'm often asked whether mould affects children's health? I thought this would be an appropriate topic to kick off the new year for The Mould Show in 2022. In approaching this topic, I'm going to review some of the key symptoms associated with exposure to mould and then provide you with an easy visual guide that you can use to not only remember the typical mould symptoms but the causes and effects but that may be helpful when describing indoor air quality issues in your home or workplace.

We all know that unexpected weather increasingly contributes to mould problems indoors in addition to water leaks and home dilapidation problems. In turn, most of us understand that moulds grow on wet surfaces and release their spores into the air. It’s important to remember that mycotoxin levels inside water-damaged buildings are sometimes 1000-fold higher than the mould count. It's also known that 50% of fungal growth can be hidden and is missed by mould testing according to the EPA.

To look...

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Which Mould Spores are Protective Against COVID-19?

Uncategorized Dec 23, 2021

Fungi grow everywhere, including the soil, in water and on plants on us, and in other organisms and of course inside our homes. Back in the 1990s people thought there were about 1.5M fungi on earth because only some of them had been described. However, more recent genetic sequencing tools put the total number of fungal species on Earth at over 5 Million.  When we think about research on fungal diversity it’s a bit like the concept of the microbiome in our gut and similarly is referred to as the mycobiome.   

The purpose of today's talk is to discuss the relationship that we have with fungi in the built environment or the mycobiome of our homes.  To do this, I want to focus attention on a groundbreaking pre-print paper that came out on the 16th of December 2021 on medRxiv.  This looked at the relationship between specific types of fungi and how Species diversity can be used to predict the seriousness of influenza type infections like COVID-19 mortality....

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