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Coccidioidomycosis - acute pulmonary

  • Definition

    Acute pulmonary coccidioidomycosis is a lung infection caused by breathing in spores of Coccidioides immitis or Coccidioides posadasii, fungi found in the soil in certain parts of the southwestern U.S., Mexico, and Central and South America.

    See also:

    • Coccidioidomycosis
    • Disseminated coccidioidomycosis
    • Skin lesion of coccidioidomycosis

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Coccidioides infection begins in the lungs after a person breathes in the spores.

    Those who are at higher risk of developing more serious Coccidioides infection include:

    • People of Native American, African, or Philippine descent
    • Those with weakened immune systems due to AIDS, diabetes, or medications that suppress the immune system

    Occasionally the infection may develop into a long-term (chronic) lung disease or can reactivate after a long latent period.

    Traveling to an area where these fungi are found is a risk for coccidioidal infection. Areas in the U.S. include southwestern New Mexico, Arizona, California (especially the San Joaquin Valley), and western Texas.