Microcheck 237

Coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis are two diseases caused by fungi that live in the soil. The body responds to these infections by forming granulomas, mimicking tuberculosis. Each fungus has its own ecological niche,

Coccidioides immitis in semi-arid regions of the Western Hemisphere, and Histoplasma capsulatum in moist soils enriched with bird or bat droppings around the world.

■ Why should an immunodeficient person avoid traveling through hot, dry, dusty areas of the Southwest?

■ Why might cave exploration increase the risk of histoplasmosis?

■ In March, 2001, 221 students from 37 colleges and universities in 18 states developed one or more of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath and chest pain. Serological tests indicated acute histoplasmosis. Most of the students had just returned from spring break in Mexico where they stayed in a hotel next door to a bulldozing operation. How might the bulldozing explain the epidemic?

Chapter 23 Respiratory System Infections

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