Publication Date



Open Forum Infectious Diseases


BACKGROUND: Characterizing invasive mold infection (IMI) epidemiology in the context of large flooding events is important for public health planning and clinical decision making.

METHODS: We assessed IMI incidence (per 10 000 healthcare encounters) 1 year before and after Hurricane Harvey at 4 hospitals in Houston, Texas. Potential IMI cases were assigned as proven or probable cases using established definitions, and surveillance cases using a novel definition. We used rate ratios to describe IMI incidence and multivariable logistic regression to examine patient characteristics associated with IMI case status.

RESULTS: IMI incidence was significantly higher posthurricane (3.69 cases) than prehurricane (2.50 cases) (rate ratio, 1.48 [95% confidence interval, 1.10-2.00]), largely driven by surveillance IMI cases.

CONCLUSIONS: IMI incidence likely increased following Hurricane Harvey and outcomes for IMI patients were severe. Patient and clinician education on IMI prevention and identification is warranted, particularly as the frequency of extreme weather events increases due to climate change.


aspergillosis, hurricane, invasive mold infections, surveillance



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