What is Coccidioidomycosis diseases? What are the symptoms, diagnosis, causes and treatment methods of Coccidioidomycosis?
COCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS, is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Coccidioides immitis. The fungus is normally present in the soil in various parts of the world, notably in the drier desert areas of the southwestern United States. When dust from the soil is carried by the wind and inhaled, fungal spores enter the lungs and may germinate, forming tiny, round fruiting bodies. These fruiting bodies then break open, releasing many spores, which may spread through the bloodstream to other organs.
Symptoms of coccidioidomycosis frequently include coughing, fever, aching joints, and raised tender areas beneath the skin of the lower legs. In Mexican Indians, Filipinos, Negroes, and less frequently in Caucasians, the infection spreads to 1 produce inflammation and abscesses of the soft tissues beneath the skin, occasionally producing draining lesions on the skin. A less common but more serious manisfestation of the disease is meningitis.
Because the symptoms of coccidioidomycosis resemble those of tuberculosis, other fungal diseases, and certain chronic bacterial infections, care must be taken to distinguish coccidioidomycosis from these diseases. This is done by examining some of the diseased tissue under a microscope, finding the spore-filled fruiting bodies. The diagnosis is confirmed by growing and identifying the fungus in the laboratory.
In regions where coccidioidomycosis occurs most frequently, the great majority of the people may recover spontaneously or have no symptoms at all. When there is evidence that the disease has spread or when it persists, drugs are administered, usually the antibiotic amphotericin B. Destroyed tissue must be removed surgically, and infected abscesses must be drained. Unless treated, the spreading infection is generally fatal.
***This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a doctor warning or recommendation.