Coccidioidomycosis: Causes and Treatments

Coccidioidomycosis is a systemic disease, stemming from the fungus Coccidioides. Since the name is quite unpronounceable, the disease has become better known as Valley Fever. The fungus is primarily found in the continents of North and South Americas.

What Causes It?

The cause of coccidioidomycosis is the fungus Coccidioides. This is a fungus that thrives in the soil. Once it becomes airborne, it can cause the infection that is known as coccidioidomycosis. While that is the most common way to contract it, it is not guaranteed that you will come down with the infection if you breathe it in. In fact, many people who come in to contact with it do not get sick at all.

Some people are more likely to get it. These include people who are pregnant, HIV carriers, diabetics, and of African or Filipino descents. Those who have received an organ transplant or are taking cortisone-based medication are also more likely to contract it.

Are There Treatments?

While at this stage there are no vaccines for the disease, it can be treated when needed. Most people who contract it are able to fight it off on their own. Treating the symptoms on their own is generally enough to ward off the disease. However, in some extreme cases, hospitalization and the use of anti-fungal medication may be required.

The good thing about a disease such as this is that once you’ve had it, it’s extremely unlikely that you will ever come down with it again.

In Conclusion

As with most airborne diseases, it is possible to avoid coccidioidomycosis. This can be done through avoiding the areas that Coccidioides is found, and by using proper air filtration systems when those areas can’t be avoided. The cause of coccidioidomycosis is simple, but luckily so is the treatment.

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