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      Your Health: July 5, 2013 Frozen ice pops and lab tests

      {}{}{} Why should physicians be aware of if some of their hospitalized patients eat ice popsicles?{}{}{}{} A new report reveals that frozen ice pops, a common treat in hospitals, can fool tests designed to detect a fungal infection that threatens people with an weakened immune system.{}{}{}{} According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health,{} the fungus, known as aspergillus, is so common that most people breathe in its spores each day.{} It's found in soil, on plants, in household dust and in some home-building materials.{}{}{} Most people have no problems when they encounter the fungus because their immune systems get rid of it.{} The new report describes the case of a 42-year-old woman in France who underwent a stem-cell transplant to treat a bone marrow disorder. {}{}{}{} Tests suggested she'd been infected by the aspergillus fungus, although she didn't show symptoms, and she began taking an anti fungal drug called voriconazole to treat it.{}{}{}{} Researchers say she was wrongly treated for the infection because of false positive test results.{}{}{}{}{} Later, researchers tested three brands of ice pops and found they all contain a molecule known as galactomannan that can trigger a false test reading.

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