Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, severely impacting the island. In order to quantify the impact of the hurricane on the indoor air quality, we evaluated the fungal levels in households (n = 20) of the Piñones community for the period of 2018 and 2019. For each dust sample collected, the 36 Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) molds were quantified using qPCR assays, and then Shannon Diversity Index (SDI) values for the fungal populations were calculated. Homes were in five separate regions, regarding their proximity in the studied area. We found that for regions with reported least water damage, the SDI values were similar for both sampled years, but for regions that reported mid-to-high level of damage region, the SDI values were significantly higher. Households that reported remediation actions between the two sampled years showed similar values for the second year as those that did not report any major impact. Our preliminary data provides insights into the significant impacts of hurricanes into indoor fungal environment.
Category: Latest NewsBy School of Medicine
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