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Aspergillosis is caused by breathing in small particles of a mould called aspergillus.
In most healthy people, the immune system is able to quickly destroy the mould before it causes any problems. However, symptoms can develop in people with a pre-existing lung condition or a weak immune system.
Aspergillosis isn't contagious, so it can't be passed from person to person.
Aspergillus mould is found in all countries and in many different environments. This makes it difficult to avoid.
Aspergillus mould can be found in:
Aspergillus can cause aspergillosis if you have a health problem affecting your lungs, or your immune system is weak.
You may be at risk of aspergillosis if you have:
If you're at risk, you may need to take extra precautions to prevent aspergillosis – for example, by wearing a face mask near dusty environments, avoiding activities such as gardening, or taking long-term antifungal medication.
Read more about preventing aspergillosis.