Category Archives: Vol 33

Fungi: Another human threat alert!

Fungi make for one of the three major microorganisms behind human diseases. They are not commonly tested in this part of the world merely because this region is not a fungi disease-endemic area. When we are sick, the common tests to go for over here are either for viral or bacterial diseases.

With increasingly attractive travel deals and cheaper airlines, international travelling has become a common leisure in today’s contemporary living. If you are a frequent traveller, has it ever crossed your mind that you could possible be the unlucky one to acquire something alien from a foreign country like fungi, especially if you feel sick after travelling? And if you are a physician, have you ever considered those diseases that are endemic in regions where your patients have travelled to as the most probable cause of a disease?

There are many common diseases contained to selected regions in the world that are not commonly known to other parts of the world. Some are not fatal, but the illness can take a long time to get diagnosed and treated just because it is not something common outside the country of its origin. There are many such cases that are being misdiagnosed and mistreated, with the patients failing to get better under the name of having an unknown disease. It may start with harmless symptoms like a common cold or flu in the early stage.

There are many common diseases contained to selected regions in the world that are not commonly known to other parts of the world.

Valley Fever is one of those diseases haunting Southwestern United States and parts of Mexico, Central America and South America. Coccidiodes is a fungus in the soil that causes Valley Fever. Inhaling in one spore can cause lifelong infection, turning your life upside down. It is often mis-diagnosed as bacterial pneumonia, tuberculosis or cancer.

You could acquire one or more of these conditions when the spores disseminate in your body; hydrocephalus (having harmful spinal fluid pressure on the brain), verrucose ulcers (wart like outgrowths on the surface of organs and skin), arthralgias (joint pains), myalgias (muscle pain), otomycosis (fungal infection of the external ear canal), hypercalcemia (extra calcium in the blood that can be fatal) and other terrible conditions.

Anyone can get Valley Fever, including children. It is most common among elderly above 60. Other high risk groups include Asians, African Americans, women in their third trimester of pregnancy and people with weak immune systems.

If you love travelling and especially love to explore exotic places like Arizona, be warned. Get to know their exotic threats and be prepared.

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