Girl, 14, dies of rare fungal infection caused by mold

October 2, 2019  09:47

Jade Owens, 14, from UK died of a rare fungal infection, Fox News reported.

Jade first started complaining of headaches and flu symptoms in May. Her mother took her to a doctor who diagnosed her with a mild chest infection.

However, the next day, Jade's condition worsened. Analysis showed that the teenager had diabetic ketoacidosis, which the Mayo Clinic defines as a “serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.”

This condition is usually the result of the body's inability to produce enough insulin.

Jade was then diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The teenager’s family did not know that she was suffering from a chronic illness before her diagnosis.

A couple of days later, Jade was moved to the Manchester Children's Hospital. She was not responding well to insulin, so doctors there chose to place her in a medically induced coma. On May 27, the teen awoke — and seemingly was acting like her old self, asking her mother for food.

But after two weeks, Jade's condition worsened again. She started coughing up blood, and doctors struggled to stabilize her.

It later turned out that Jade suffers from a rare fungal infection called mucormycosis.

Mucormycetes, a mold group commonly found in soil, compost heaps, and animal excrement, causes mucormycosis infections. Although these molds are present in the environment, those whose immune systems are compromised are more at risk of contracting an infection.

It most often affects the sinuses or lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or getting the fungus into the skin as a result of a cut, burn, or other type of skin damage.

“The infection is opportunistic. Jade caught it because her immune system was weaker with diabetes,” her mother told SWNS. “We had no idea she even had diabetes. No one else in the family has it so we had no idea what to look out for."

Though it’s not clear how Jade came into contact with the mold spores, it’s possible she breathed them in while at the horse stables.

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