According to the Mayo Clinic, mould is found everywhere and has been around for as far back as history records. Lung infections may be linked to mould exposure but are more commonly the result of a viral infection in the upper-respiratory tract (URT), according to the University of Cape Town. While a mould lung infection is rare, an allergy to mould can cause chronic lung infections.
A mould lung infection occurs when a person inhales a larger amount of mould into the lungs. This is found typically in places of residence where mould is visible and apparent. The mould spores attach to the lungs, causing an abnormal intruding substance that results in a bacteria lung infection, according to the State of North Carolina.
A viral lung infection is commonly caused by the common cold. The common cold may be the result of acquiring one of more than 200 viruses. The viruses are transferred by human-to-human contact, breathing in a virus from the air or touching a surface infected with a virus.
The cause of a mould infection is overexposure to mould, while a viral lung infection may be the result of different health conditions, according to University of Cape Town. A viral lung infection may be the result of the common cold, tonsillitis, a viral sinus infection or the flu. These conditions begin in a different area of the body and migrate to the lungs.
According to the Merck Manual, common symptoms of a lung infection (either mould or viral) are coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and excessive mucus build-up in the chest. A person may experience wet coughs in an attempt to rid the lungs of the fluid. If the infection goes untreated, a person may develop a fever.
There is no cure for a viral lung infection. A person can use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat the symptoms, until the body effectively kills the virus. Common (OTC) drugs for a viral lung infection are expectorants, pain relievers and decongestants (if the lung infection affects the sinuses). A mould infection is treated the same way with the exception of effectively removing all mould from the home.
Common symptoms of a lung infection are similar to allergic reactions. A person may have a severe allergy to mould, pollen, dust mites or pet dander. An individual who experiences these symptoms should not treat them himself, but should consult with a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis.