Aspergillosis

It's virtually impossible to avoid the aspergillus mould completely, but there are some precautions you can take to reduce your risk of developing aspergillosis.

It's virtually impossible to avoid the aspergillus mould completely, but there are some precautions you can take to reduce your risk of developing aspergillosis.

These precautions are particularly important if you're at a high risk of aspergillosis.

Avoiding exposure

The main way to prevent aspergillosis is to avoid being exposed to the aspergillus fungus as much as possible.

Try to avoid places where the aspergillus fungus is likely to be found, such as:

  • compost heaps
  • grain stores
  • rotting vegetation
  • piles of dead leaves
  • marshland and bogs
  • forests

In buildings, try to minimise your exposure to the fungus by reducing and containing dust as much as possible – particularly during construction work. Keep windows closed if there's a lot of dust or digging outside.

Extra precautions for those at high risk

If you're at a particularly high risk of severe aspergillosis – for example, because you have a weak immune system – your doctor may recommend extra precautions, such as:

  • avoiding certain activities that involve close contact with soil and dust, such as gardening
  • wearing a face mask when you're near dusty environments – be aware that aspergillus particles are very small and not all face masks will filter them out; the Support for People with Aspergillosis website has more information about suitable face masks
  • using air purifiers – this requires bulky and expensive equipment to be effective, although there are purifiers that can be used at home
  • drying wet washing outdoors, in a tumble dryer or in a well ventilated indoor space away from bedrooms and living areas

Some people at risk will be given a course of antifungal medication to help prevent fungal infections. 

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