Coccidioidomycosis Essay

1447 words - 6 pages

Coccidioidmycasis is rising in numbers with population growth in the southwestern area of the United Stated and with the increase in tourist attractions in that area. Some people call it Valley fever but the correct name for it coccidiodmycosis. Although coccidoidies species are not endemic on other areas in the country, the rapid population growth in the southwestern in recent decades and the increase in tourism, contribute to that many people travel to the Southwest and return home before developing the clinical syndrome of coccidioidomycosis (Mayo, 2008). It can occur in various manifestations: acute pneumonia, chronic progressive pneumonias, pulmonary nodules and cavities, ...view middle of the document...

The arthrocondia are release into the atmosphere when the wind ruptures the hypha (Cole, 1985). Coccidioides immitis infects humans and animals almost exclusively by the respiratory route, once inhaled the achroconidia clusters in the lungs and undergo a dramatic morphologic change (Cole, 1985), The round cells, which develop into spherules, undergo repeated internal divisions until they are filled with hundreds to thousands of offspring, termed endospores, this process occurs over 48 to 72 hours (Cole, 1985). When the spherule ruptures, each released endospores has the capacity to develop into a mature spherule (Cole, 1985).

The spores are in the soil. When something disturbs the soil such as farming, construction, wind or just playing in the soil can release the spores into the air. The fungi can be breathe into the lung by a person. After a dust storm the cases of coccidioidomycasis will rise, Many people can be working in the soil or around the soil will not realize they have been expose to the fungus. Coccidioidomycasis can be acute or chronic. The acute phase of coccidoisomycosis, which can appear in one to three weeks after exposure, the symptoms can be mild; can be one or several of the symptoms, which can range from minor to severe: Fever, cough, and chest pain-varying from mild feeling of constriction to intense pressure resembling a heart attack (Mayo,2010). This resemblance will feel like the flu or a bad cold. The patient can have chills, night sweats, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, joint aches and red spotty rash (Mayo, 2010). The rash that accompanies coccidioidomycasis can be painful red bumps that may appear on the lower legs, arms, back and chest, over time these red bumps may discolor to a brown color. The red rash can sometimes have blisters or have eruptions which will, appear like a pimple.
Patient with a weakened immuned system may progress to a chronic form of coccidioidomycosis. Patients with diabetes or HIV may progress to a chronic form of pneumonia. The patients will have the symptoms of tuberculosis: low grade fever, weight loss, cough, chest pain, blood tinged sputum, and nodules in the lung (Mayo, 2010). Disseminated coccidioidomycosis is the most fatal form of the disease because it has spread to the heart, brain, bones, skin, and the meninges. The sign and symptoms can include: nodules, ulcers and skin lesions, which are more serious than the rash; that sometimes occurs with other forms of the disease, painful lesions in the skull, spine or other bones, painful, swollen joints, especially in the knees or ankles, and meningitis (Mayo, 2010).
Most patients when they present to the doctor will have a chest x ray, which will not be specific enough to make a diagnosis of coccidioidmycosis. The chest x ray may even show the nodules in the lung. But the best way to diagnosis is to do blood cultures to check of the antibodies against the fungus that causes coccidioidmycosis. The...

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