June 9th, 2017 9:01 PM by Dan Howard
The shaded areas show approximate regions where
certain disease-causing fungi are known to live or are suspected to live.
do you live and travel? Fungi
that can cause serious infections are more common in some parts of the world
and in some parts of United States. For example, the fungus that causes Valley
fever (also called coccidioidomycosis) is found mainly in the southwestern
types of activities are you doing? Harmful fungi can be found in air, dust, and soil. Histoplasma grows
especially well in soil that contains bird or bat droppings. Activities like
digging, gardening, cleaning chicken coops, and visiting caves can result in
you breathing in fungi that may cause infection.
you have a dog or cat? People
can get ringworm from their pets. Dogs and cats with ringworm sometimes
have circular, hairless patches on their skin or other types of rashes. Adult
animals do not always show signs of ringworm infection.
you recently taken antibiotics? Antibiotics can make women more likely to get vulvovaginal
candidiasis, also known as a vaginal yeast infection. Women who are
pregnant and have weakened immune systems also are more likely to get this
condition. Men also can get genital candidiasis.
you taking any medications that affect your immune system? Medications used to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may
weaken your immune system and increase the chance of getting a fungal infection.
you living with HIV/AIDS? People
living with HIV/AIDS may be more likely to get fungal infections. Two
well-known fungal infections associated with HIV/AIDS in the United States are oral candidiasis (thrush) and Pneumocystis pneumonia.
Worldwide, cryptococcal meningitis is a major cause
of illness in people living with HIV/AIDS.
you be hospitalized? In
the United States, one of the most common bloodstream infections in
hospitalized patients is caused by a fungus called Candida. Candida normally
lives in the gastrointestinal tract and on skin without causing any problems,
but it can enter the bloodstream during a hospital stay and cause infection.
you recently had a transplant? People who have recently had an organ transplant or a stem cell transplant have a greater
chance of developing a fungal infection while their immune systems are
weakened. Doctors prescribe antifungal medication for some transplant patients
to prevent fungal infections from developing.
you receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments? Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and
radiation, weakens your immune system and may increase the chance you will get
a fungal infection.
you have symptoms of pneumonia that are not getting better with antibiotics? Fungal infections, especially lung
infections like Valley fever, histoplasmosis, and aspergillosis, can have similar symptoms as
bacterial infections. However, antibiotics don’t work for fungal infections.
Early testing for fungal infections reduces unnecessary antibiotic use and
allows people to start treatment with antifungal medication, if necessary.
Anyone can get a fungal
infection. You can learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of
fungal infections and get prevention tips by visiting CDC’s
fungal diseases website and by talking with your healthcare