Histoplasmosis

Friday, October 18, 2013

Histoplasmosis is an infection in the lungs caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus. While some people with the disease may not have any symptoms, it can be dangerous in some cases. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about histoplasmosis in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by a fungus. The infection is in your lungs. In severe cases, it could spread through your whole body.

The fungus that causes histoplasmosis grows in the ground and often comes from pigeon droppings. Farming, gardening or any activity that disturbs the soil can let fungus spores get into the air. If you breathe in those spores, you can get the infection.

Most healthy people who are infected with this fungus never have any symptoms, because their bodies fight off the disease. In people who do get symptoms, fever, headache, cough, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss are the most common.

Many people dont need any treatment. Some people have to take an antifungal medicine. Some people have to go to the hospital to get oxygen therapy and intravenous fluids. Most people do well with treatment.

The best way to not get this infection is to stay away from places where you could breathe in contaminated dust. If you work in contaminated areas, wear protective clothing and face masks.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.