Fungal pneumonia can be a deadly disease. With similarities to regular pneumonia, it is also an illness that is incorrectly diagnosed at times. It’s an infection in the lungs caused by airborne fungi and is said to have a death rate as high as 90% across reported cases.
How Is It Different from Regular Pneumonia
The symptoms present themselves quite similarly. Therefore clinically it presents itself just like common pneumonia. The real difference, however, comes down to the treatment. As with most fungi that live in our bodies, antibiotics run the risk of increasing any present fungi due to the way they offset our good bacteria. In this instance, if a patient was to display symptoms of pneumonia and be prescribed antibiotics, they could be much worse off.
How Is It Diagnosed
While general pneumonia is something that can be diagnosed quite easily, fungal pneumonia requires a more severe approach to be diagnosed. Some of the methods include fiber optic bronchoscopy and fine needle aspiration. In rare cases, the diagnosis might require an open lung biopsy.
What Are the Symptoms
As mentioned above, the symptoms of fungal pneumonia are quite similar to atypical pneumonia. These can include rashes, coughing, fevers, joint and muscle pain, headaches and general feelings of being unwell. It’s important to understand that if left untreated, it can lead to chronic pneumonia. This has been known to spread from the lungs and up to the brain. There is also the potential it could cause meningitis, which is another fungal disease that presents itself as an infection in the brain or spine rather than the lungs.
Amongst the medical community, it is agreed that fungal pneumonia is rare. That doesn’t make it any less deadly though. It is important to be aware of its existence so that a prompt diagnosis can be sought.