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Aspergillosis

Overview

An acute infection caused by a fungus that produces illness almost exclusively in immunosuppressed or immunodeficient people.


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Causes

Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus (aspergillus) that is commonly in the environment growing on dead leaves, stored grain,bird droppings, compost piles, or other decaying vegetation.It causes illness in 3 ways: as an allergic reaction in people with asthma; as a colonization in an old healed lung cavity fromprevious disease such as tuberculosis or lung abscess where it produces a fungus ball called aspergilloma; and as an invasiveinfection with pneumonia that is spread to other parts of the body by the blood stream. The invasive infection can affect the eye(causing blindness) any other organ of the body, but especially the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys. Late in the course of thedisease, the nervous system, skin, and other organs may become affected.Risk factors in addition to immunosuppression include a very low white blood cell count over a prolonged period. The incidenceis 5 out of 100,000 people. However, this condition ccan be common in children with cystic fibrosis .


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Signs & Symptoms

 chest pain- cough- fever- joint pain

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Prevention

People who are immunosuppressed because of disease or medications should avoid environments that are conducive to thegrowth of aspergillus fungus.


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Treatments
Surgery Modern Medicine

The objective of therapy is to control the infection by antifungal medication, and to reverse any correctable immunosuppression. Surgical removal of foreign or infected tissue (debridement) from the sinuses may be necessary. Hospitalization will probably be necessary.

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