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Man Develops Rare Infection 30 Years After First Exposure

By Staff

One needs to be very careful about any kind of fungus and bacteria. As the effects of it might not be visible immediately, but at times the fungus and bacteria manifests itself later in the form of serious infections and if not taken care of on time then it might turn fatal as well.

Recently, it has been reported that an uncommon fungal infection lingered in a man's body for 30 years before making itself known in his brain.

As per the case, which was reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the 70-year-old man was diagnosed with histoplasmosis, an infection caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum.

Since the patient was a heart-transplant recipient, he would have been more vulnerable to the infection, according to the report.

"The transplant may have reactivated the histoplasmosis infection. Medications taken after the organ transplant that prevents the body from attack the new organ lowered the man's immunity and allowed the fungal spores that lay dormant in his body to grow again" said, Carol Kauffman, an infectious-disease expert at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System in the US.

According to the report, the man learned of his infection when he went to see infectious-disease experts at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson because he had been feeling confused for four days.

Brain scans of the man's head revealed abnormal tissue, leading doctors to think that he might have had a tumour. The doctors then performed a biopsy of the adrenal glands located on top of a person's kidneys and found areas of inflamed, dead tissue.

Meanwhile, laboratory tests and a fungal culture confirmed the man's diagnosis of disseminated histoplasmosis, the more severe and rarer form of the disease.

What is histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by an infection with a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum, which is found in the environment, with bird and bat droppings being the major ones.

When the microscopic fungal spores are inhaled, some people develop an illness similar to pneumonia. The spores may become airborne in areas where demolition is happening and they might have bat or bird droppings. However, not everyone who inhales the spores develops the illness.

Signs & Symptoms:

The signs and symptoms are visible after about 5-10 days of exposure. The symptoms are similar to that of pneumonia. Fever, chills, dry cough, sweating, chest pain and joint pains are among the major symptoms of histoplasmosis.

When the patient fails to get the required treatment on time then it can lead to weight loss, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, seizures, confusion and loss of vision as well.

For those having weak immune system, the infection spreads quickly and affects the major

organs like the liver, spleen, brain and the bone marrow as well.

(With Agency Inputs)

Read more about: infection fungal bacteria
Story first published: Friday, November 24, 2017, 11:12 [IST]
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