Long-Term Care

Tip of the week: Recognizing molds and fungal infections in long-term care facilities

Contemporary Long-Term Care Weekly, July 22, 2010

Molds can be very dangerous, especially if the spores are inhaled. Molds reproduce through small spores, many of which are often resistant to heat or other forms of sanitizing procedures. Molds can produce toxins, such as aflatoxin, an extremely potent toxin. They often thrive in environments that have some level of moisture, which is why sanitizing bathrooms, sinks, showers, bathtubs, and air conditioning vents with the proper chemicals to kill molds is very important to prevent the spread of spores and mycotic (fungal) infections.

Dermatophytes are mycotic infections of the skin. Dermatophytes cause infection of the nails and hair as well. Probably the most common dermatophyte infection is ringworm of the foot (athlete’s foot), referred to as tineal pedis, and of the scalp, referred to as tineal capita. A fungal infection of the toenail or fingernail area is called onychomycosis.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Administrator’s Field Guide, by Brian Garavaglia, PhD.

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