Hundreds of cases of Aspergillus mold infections at Washington hospitals occurred after patients were admitted in the last decade, a Seattle Times analysis shows, but that does not mean the patients contracted the infection from the hospital.

The Times analyzed discharge data tracked by the state’s health department, finding that of nearly 6.8 million hospitalizations in Washington from 2009 through the first half of this year, only a fraction were hospital-reported Aspergillus infection cases — 4,159 cases to be precise.

In a majority of cases (90 percent), hospitals reported that patients already had the infection at the time of admission; but in 355 cases at 35 hospitals, reports show the Aspergillus infection occurred after hospital admission.

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