As reported in USA Today, open wounds in our injured military heroes (my word) enable fungus to enter the human body. Many have died and lifesaving surgery aimed at stopping the spread of fungus is most often done. Left to grow up limbs or neighboring tissues, the fungus would eventually kill all infected with it.
Many field surgeons are now dousing open injuries with a type of diluted bleach that hasn’t been used by the military since WW1. Left untreated, within hours, the soil fungi infect healthy tissues near the wound.
Hay Fever, in which farmers inhaled moldy hay, reminded me of this article. Hay Fever wasn’t caused by hay, nor did it cause a fever. It was caused by mold growing on the hay and many farmers lost their livelihood and their lives to it.
Many of these exact dangerous soil fungi were in Korea, France, Germany, and Vietnam and other foreign (and domestic) soils. As I’ve always said, one-day doctors will familiarize themselves with the fungus link to illness and we will all benefit.
Sometimes in Vietnam, we couldn’t figure out why surgical debridement (not for the squeamish) was necessary following what we believed was a very successful surgery. All war surgeries are “dirty,” and I believe that the most important and overlooked component of the soil (dirt) is fungus. Antibiotics quickly cure bacterial infections and are dispensed following every single war surgery. Antifungals are not…yet. One day, years from now, our brightest and best will learn that preventive medicine doesn’t necessitate a scalpel. Just my take!
PS…A special “thank you” to all of the men and women who have fought in soils far from home and have enabled the freedoms that we enjoy in America today~