Learn About Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis

What is the definition of Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

Acute pulmonary histoplasmosis is a respiratory infection that is caused by inhaling the spores of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum.

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What are the causes of Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

Histoplasma capsulatum is the name of the fungus that causes histoplasmosis. It is found in the central and eastern United States, eastern Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. It is commonly found in the soil in river valleys. It gets into the soil mostly from bird and bat droppings.

You can get sick when you breathe in spores that the fungus produces. Every year, thousands of people with a normal immune system worldwide are infected, but most do not become seriously sick. Most have no symptoms or have only a mild flu-like illness and recover without any treatment.

Acute pulmonary histoplasmosis may happen as an epidemic, with many people in one region becoming sick at the same time. People with weakened immune systems (see Symptoms section below) are more likely to:

  • Develop the disease if exposed to the fungus spores
  • Have the disease come back
  • Have more symptoms, and more serious symptoms, than others who get the disease

Risk factors include traveling to or living in the central or eastern United States near the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, and being exposed to the droppings of birds and bats. This threat is greatest after an old building is torn down and spores get into the air, or when exploring caves.

What are the symptoms of Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

Most people with acute pulmonary histoplasmosis have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are:

  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Rash (usually small sores on the lower legs)
  • Shortness of breath

Acute pulmonary histoplasmosis can be a serious illness in the very young, older people, and people with a weakened immune system, including those who:

  • Have HIV/AIDS
  • Have had bone marrow or solid organ transplants
  • Take medicines that suppress their immune system

Symptoms in these people may include:

  • Inflammation around the heart (called pericarditis)
  • Serious lung infections
  • Severe joint pain
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What are the current treatments for Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

Most cases of histoplasmosis clear up without specific treatment. People are advised to rest and take medicine to control fever.

Your health care provider may prescribe medicine if you are sick for more than 4 weeks, have a weakened immune system, or are having breathing problems.

Who are the top Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis Local Doctors?
Distinguished
Highly rated in
1
conditions

Università Politecnica Delle Marche

Gastroenterological And Transplant Department 
Ancona, IT 

Silvia Staffolani is in Ancona, Italy. Staffolani is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis. She is also highly rated in 1 other condition, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis, Mansonelliasis, Lung Nodules, and Secernentea Infections.

Distinguished
Highly rated in
17
conditions
Pulmonary Medicine
Infectious Disease
Intensive Care Medicine

Indiana University Health

IU Health Advanced Heart & Lung Care

1801 N Senate Ave 
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Chadi Hage is a Pulmonary Medicine specialist and an Infectious Disease doctor in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Hage has been practicing medicine for over 25 years and is rated as a Distinguished doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis. He is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis, Blastomycosis, Bronchiolitis Obliterans, and Industrial Bronchitis. He is licensed to treat patients in Indiana. Dr. Hage is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Distinguished
Highly rated in
18
conditions

Negrar

Verona, IT 

Federico Gobbi is in Verona, Italy. Gobbi is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis. He is also highly rated in 18 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Strongyloidiasis, Loiasis, Helminthiasis, and Rhabditida Infections.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

When histoplasmosis lung infection is severe or gets worse, the illness may last up to many months. Even then, it is rarely fatal.

The illness can get worse over time and become a long-term (chronic) lung infection (which doesn't go away).

What are the possible complications of Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis can spread to other organs through the bloodstream (dissemination). This is often seen in infants, young children, and people with a suppressed immune system.

When should I contact a medical professional for Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

Call your provider if:

  • You have symptoms of histoplasmosis, especially if you have a weakened immune system or have recently been exposed to bird or bat droppings
  • You are being treated for histoplasmosis and develop new symptoms
How do I prevent Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?

Avoid contact with bird or bat droppings if you are in an area where the spore is common, especially if you have a weakened immune system.

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What are the Latest Advances for Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis?
Reintroduction of immunosuppressive medications in pediatric rheumatology patients with histoplasmosis: a case series.
Pulmonary histoplasmosis in an immunocompetent patient.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: March 04, 2020
Published By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Deepe GS. Histoplasma capsulatum (histoplasmosis). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 263.

Kauffman CA, Galgiani JN, Thompson GR. Endemic mycoses. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 316.