Aspergillus is a type of mold that is abundant in the air you breathe. For most people this mold is harmless, but in others, aspergillus poses a threat for a fungal infection of the lungs known as aspergillosis.
People at risk for developing symptoms of mold in the lungs include those with a history of asthma, AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, tuberculosis or cystic fibrosis and those under long-term treatment with immunosuppressant or corticosteroid medications.
The symptoms of mold in the lungs or aspergillosis develop suddenly and worsen quickly, often in a matter of days or weeks.
Types of Symptoms
Symptoms of aspergillosis include fever, chills, headache, bloody cough, shortness of breath, chest pains, joint pain and weight loss.
In some cases, aspergillosis results in fatal hemorrhages within the lungs. Without prompt treatment, the mold that causes aspergillosis has the potential to spread to the brain, kidneys or heart, where it usually is fatal.
Intravenous fungal medications are often successful at fighting the mold that causes aspergillosis. Doctors also administer granulocyte colony-stimulating factor drugs, which boost the immune system and allow your body's natural defenses to work against the aspergillus mold.