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Histoplasmosis - acute (primary) pulmonary

  • Symptoms

    Most people with acute pulmonary histoplasmosis have no or mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are:

    • Chest pain
    • Chills
    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Joint pain and stiffness
    • Muscle aches and stiffness
    • Rash (usually small sores on the lower legs called erythema nodosum)
    • Shortness of breath

    In the very young, elderly, or people with a compromised immune system, symptoms may be more severe, including:

    • Inflammation around the heart (called pericarditis)
    • Serious lung infections
    • Severe joint pain

    Signs and tests

    To diagnose histoplasmosis, the doctor needs to find the fungus in the body, or evidence that your immune system is reacting to the fungus.

    Tests include:

    • Antibody tests for histoplasmosis (also called serologies)
    • Biopsy of infection site
    • Bronchoscopy (usually only done if symptoms are severe or you have an abnormal immune system)
    • Complete blood count (CBC) with differential
    • Chest CT scan
    • Chest x-ray (might show a lung infection or pneumonia)
    • Sputum culture (often not positive, even if you are infected)
    • Urine Histoplasma capsulatum antigen (more useful in people with severe disease)