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(HealthDay News) — Increased hospitalizations involving fungal infections were identified during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in the July issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Jeremy A.W. Gold, MD, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed a healthcare services database to determine the rates, patient demographic features and health care utilization for fungal infection-related hospitalizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers found that the rates of fungal hospitalizations increased from 22.3 per 10,000 hospitalizations in 2019 to 25.0 and 26.8 in 2020 and 2021, respectively, representing an average annual change of 8.5%. During 2020 to 2021, 13.4% of 39,423 fungal hospitalizations were COVID-19-associated.

Hospitalizations caused by COVID-19-associated fungal infections more often involved longer hospital stays (21 versus nine days), higher intensive care unit admission rates (70% versus 35%), more invasive mechanical ventilation receipt (64% versus 22%), and more deaths (48% versus 12%), compared with non-COVID-19-associated fungal infections. COVID-19-associated fungal hospitalizations with the highest percentages of deaths involved aspergillosis, invasive candidiasis, mucormycosis and unspecified mycoses (58%, 55%, 45% and 59%, respectively).

“Our analysis underscores the substantial burden of patient hospitalizations with fungal infections in the United States and indicates that increased hospitalizations involving fungal infections occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors wrote.

Abstract/Full Text

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