Fungal Infections Fungal Infections
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
FUNGAL INFECTIONS– 10 Questions to Protect Your Health Fungal diseases are not the first thing that come to mind when you get sick, but they are something that you and your healthcare provider need to consider. Because the symptoms of different fungal diseases (fever, cough, headache, rash, muscle aches, or joint pain) are similar to other common illnesses, diagnosis and treatment are often delayed. The more you know about fungal diseases and your potential risk, the better prepared you are to protect your health. Ten questions that could help you find out your risk for fungal infection 1.WHERE SO YOU LIVE? There are some areas in the United States where disease-causing fungi are common.1 Healthcare providers see more cases of histoplasmosis in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys than other parts of the country. Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis, is found mainly in the southwestern US. 2.WHAT TYPE OF ACTIVIES ARE YOU DOING? Disease-causing fungi can be found in air, dust, and soil, especially soil that contains bird or bat droppings. Activities like digging, gardening, cleaning chicken coops, and visiting caves can cause you to inhale more fungi that may cause infection.2 3.ARE YOU TAKING ANY MEDICINES THAT WILL AFFECT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM? Medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may weaken your immune system and put you at risk for fungal infection.3 4.ARE YOU LIVING WITH HIV/AID? People living with HIV/AIDS may be at risk for fungal infections. Two well-known fungal infections associated with HIV/AIDS in the United States are Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and oral candidiasis (thrush). Internationally, C. neoformans cryptococcosis, is known to cause meningitis in people living with HIV/AIDS.4 5.HAVE YOU HAD AN ORGAN TRANSPLANT WITHIN THE LAST YEAR? As an organ transplant patient, you may be at risk for fungal infections, especially within the first year.5 6.Are you receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments? Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation weaken your immune system and may put you at risk for fungal infections. 7.ARE YOU A STEM CELL TRANSPLANT? Stem cell transplants destroy, then rebuild, your immune system. Knowing about the potential for fungal infections may help you and your healthcare provider catch them early.6 8. WILL YOU BE STAYING IN THW HOSPITAL? Will you be staying in the hospital? If you are hospitalized for an injury or illness, you may be at risk for fungal infections such as invasive candidiasis.7 Your risk increases if you are very ill or have a weak immune system.8 9.Do you have flu-like symptoms that are not responding to medications? Fungal infections, especially fungal lung infections like aspergillosis, histoplasmosis, and valley fever can look like bacterial or lung infections. 10.Have you asked your healthcare provider about the possibility of a fungal infection? Fungal infections are not always on our radar. Knowing some of the things that put you at risk and mentioning them to your healthcare provider may help recognize symptoms and prevent serious illness. It is important to remember that anyone can get a fungal infection. The more you know the better your chances of staying healthy and protecting your heath. You can learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatment of fungal infections, as well as some prevention tips by visiting CDCs fungal website and by talking with your healthcare provider.