Pneumocystis Infections

Pneumocystis jirovecii is a tiny fungus that lives in the lungs of many people. Most people's immune systems keep the fungus under control. But if you have a weakened immune system, the fungus can make you very sick.

The most common type of infection is pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). PCP once was the major cause of death for people with HIV/AIDS. But now, it is possible to prevent or treat most cases. The key to surviving PCP is early treatment. The first signs of PCP are fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. If you have a weakened immune system and have these symptoms, see your doctor right away.

To diagnose PCP, doctors use a microscope to look for the fungus in a sample of lung fluid or tissue. Treatment is with antibiotics.

There is no vaccine to prevent PCP. Some people who are at high risk of getting PCP may need to take antibiotics to prevent it.

Symptoms of Pneumocystis Infections

The following features are indicative of Pneumocystis Infections:
  • fever
  • dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • chest pain
  • chills
It is possible that Pneumocystis Infections shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Pneumocystis Infections

The following are the most common causes of Pneumocystis Infections:
  • fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii

Risk Factors for Pneumocystis Infections

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Pneumocystis Infections:
  • people with weak immune system
  • people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy
  • people with HIV/AIDS
  • patients who are taking immunosuppressive medications

Prevention of Pneumocystis Infections

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Pneumocystis Infections. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid contact with known Pneumocystis pneumonia infection patients

Occurrence of Pneumocystis Infections

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Pneumocystis Infections cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Pneumocystis Infections can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Pneumocystis Infections can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Pneumocystis Infections

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Pneumocystis Infections:
  • Lung biopsy: To diagnose the Pneumocystis pneumonia
  • Polymerase chain reaction: To determine Pneumocystis DNA
  • Blood test: To diagnose the Pneumocystis pneumonia

Doctor for Diagnosis of Pneumocystis Infections

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Pneumocystis Infections:
  • Pulmonologist

Complications of Pneumocystis Infections if untreated

Yes, Pneumocystis Infections causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Pneumocystis Infections is left untreated:
  • pneumothorax
  • can be fatal

Medicines for Pneumocystis Infections

Below is the list of medicines used for Pneumocystis Infections:

Self-care for Pneumocystis Infections

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Pneumocystis Infections:
  • Stay hydrated: To help loosen mucus in your lungs
  • Get plenty of rest: Makes you feel better
  • Take your medicine as prescribed: Helps you in recovering the infections more quickly

Patient Support for Treatment of Pneumocystis Infections

The following actions may help Pneumocystis Infections patients:
  • Join supporting research groups: Provides the guideline for the prevention and treatment of pneumocystis infections

Time for Treatment of Pneumocystis Infections

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Pneumocystis Infections to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Pneumocystis Infections Infectious?

Yes, Pneumocystis Infections is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • airborne route

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Pneumocystis Infections.
HIV/AIDS and Infections

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