What is histoplasmosis?

There are quite a number of fungal diseases out there with some being caused when you come into contact with bat or bird droppings. Histoplasmosis is one of them. This disease is also known as darling’s diseases or cave disease, and it can always be a cause of great alarm to humans. This particular disease affects the lungs, but symptoms relatively vary from one person to another. If left untreated, the disease can prove to be quite fatal regardless of the signs and symptoms a patient exhibits. Statistics indicate that it is prevalent among AIDS patients because of their compromised body immune system.

The histoplasma capsulatum fungus is the main fungus that causes histoplasmosis. In fact, it is known to quickly spread by the very act of inhaling airborne spores.A patient might exhibit signs and symptoms closely related to pneumonia, and most of them will complain of chest discomfort, headaches, chills, dry cough, and fever.

There are patients who have also complained of joint pains and body rash too. Remember, these signs and symptoms will appear 3-17 days after exposure; however, they might be severe in some patients and mild in others. If the disease is very serious, it might lead to diarrhea and to blood in sputum when a patient coughs.

The disease is also known to affect multiple organs and at the same time studies indicate it is the main cause of mediastinitis. If unattended, it will affect a person’s sight too. This disease can be categorized into four groups and these are: primary pulmonary histoplasmosis, African histoplasmosis, primary cutaneous histoplasmosis, and progressive disseminated histoplasmosis.

The treatment of this disease will vary from one person to another and this is usually based on the signs being exhibited. However, for persons with a strong immune system the problem can resolve all by itself. This said, most medical doctors will use oral itraconazole after the administration of amphotrecin B. In severe cases, the treatment can go up to one year,but for mild cases it takes only a few months and the patient is healed.

Complications might arise if treatment is abandoned or is not well administered. These can lead to respiratory failures, vena cave syndrome, and fibrosingmediastinitis. As a word of advice, always solicit medical help when you suspect you have contracted this disease. Alternatively, you can always apply preventative measures to create unfavorable conditions for the development of this fungus in your area of residence.

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