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Infectious Diseases

Histoplasmosis. recurrent infections

05/19/2003

Question:

I live in eastern Ohio neatr the Ohio River. I test positive for histoplasmosis. I know I`ve had it on & off my entire life. For the past several years I`ve been on a recurrent cycle of infection & remission. I`ve taken diflucan. This led to a tremendous die off reaction that lasted for several days & then seemed to create a hypersensitivity that made it necessary for me to stay in Pennsylvania where there is no histoplasmosis in the air. I need to find an expert on the treatment of disseminated histoplasmosis. But I don`t know if there is a doctor or doctors who have specialized in the research & treatment of this disease. I don`t know why I am so much more affected than most people by this other than the fact that both my parents died of cancer & 3 of 4 grandparents died of cancer so I come from a family whose immune system probably isn`t what it should be. right now I think the only hope I have of a normal life may be moving to someplace with no histoplasm in the air but maybe that wouldn`t even do the trick if I remain chronically infected with histoplasm or it`s damaged my immune system in some way. Anyway, Is there a doctor or clinic you know of who is the person to see on this subject. Thanks.

Answer:

Histoplasmosis is acquired from the soil and can be found in many states in this country, including Pennsylvania. Histoplasmosis is acquired usually by healthy individuals who come in contact with soil that has been disrupted. It is not infrequent that those who live in the areas where it is get more than one infection. Not knowing the symptoms of your infections, it is difficult to say whether they are from Histoplasma or something else. There are several experts at the Infectious Diseases Center at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. It is quite common here.

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Response by:

George S Deepe, Jr, MD George S Deepe, Jr, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Director of Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati