Fungal Diseases: Awareness and vigilance can save lives

The US-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners remind the medical sector and the public to be more vigilant of Fungal Disease Infection through its awareness campaign: “Think Fungus.” Understanding the disease can aid in combating fungal infections that can be life threatening.

While the public may be familiar with the most common fungal diseases—common toe or fingernail infections; ringworm, which is a skin infection that looks like a circular rash;  vaginal candidiasis more commonly known as a yeast infection; and candida infections of the mouth, throat, and esophagus (thrush)1— infections caused by fungi go beyond this. 

Fungal infection can cause illnesses such as asthma or allergies, lung infections (e.g. pneumonia) which could manifest as flu- or tuberculosis-like symptoms, bloodstream infections, and meningitis.2 Some symptoms are also similar with those afflicted with COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.3 People with comorbidities such as those with HIV, with cancer, who are organ transplant patients, or those who take certain medications may acquire pneumonia when exposed to Pneumocystis jirovecii or meningitis when exposed to Cryptococcus neoformans.

The medical sector identifies three invasive fungal infections that are considered life-threatening—Invasive Candidiasis (IC)4, Mucormycosis5, and Invasive Aspergillosis (IA).6 Increasing awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways to improve early detection and timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment for patients. Medical experts consider these invasive fungal diseases as something often difficult to diagnose and can be easily missed7-8. Some serious fungal infections have non-specific symptoms which could appear to be caused by other pathogens9.

The difficulty in diagnosis warrants further awareness and understanding (raising index for suspicion) among Health Care Workers of Fungal Diseases. These can aid in improving timely diagnosis and providing appropriate early treatment to improve patient outcomes.

In support of the US-CDC’s Fungal Disease Awareness Week (FDAW) and with the aim of furthering its campaign on Fungal Disease awareness among HCWs and the public, Pfizer, Inc. Philippines has partnered with MIMS, a multichannel medical education and listings company, to provide doctors easy access to education and info materials on Fungal Disease.

A dedicated channel under MIMS for FDAW was created to serve as a repository site for all FDAW campaign materials. Doctors who were invited can easily access the site by scanning a QR Code or clicking buttons through emailers they receive. They have targeted doctors in the following fields: Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Hematology, Infectious Diseases, Respiratory, Gastroenterology, and Oncology.

Through support of further education of Health Care Workers, Pfizer, Inc. also hopes to extend the awareness about Fungal Diseases among the general public in support of its mission of supporting Filipino communities for a stronger nation and healthier citizens.

To know more about Pfizer, its services, and other medical-related advocacy awareness efforts, visit Pfizer, Inc.’s  local office is located at 19/F – 20/F 8 Rockwell Building, Rockwell Center, Hidalgo Drive, Makati City.

PP-AIP-PHL-0237; November 2021

Pfizer, Inc.
19/F – 20/F 8 Rockwell Building
Rockwell Center, Hidalgo Drive
Makati City 1200




4 Pappas P, et al. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:18026

5 Cornely O, et al. Lancet Infect Dis. 2019;19(12):e405–21

6 Gao Y and Soubani A. Adv Respir Med. 2019;87(6):231–43;

7 Sinko J, et al. Transpl Infect Dis, 2007;10(2):106

8 Tejerina EE, t al. Hum Pathol. 2018;7685-90

9 Bassetti M and Bouza E. J Antimicrob Chemother, 2017;72(Suppl.1):i39-i47