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Infectious Diseases

Histoplasmosis

05/06/2005

Question:

I was diagnosed in late March with occular histoplasmosis and have had two laser treatments for it, but now I have developed a dry, hacky cough. Could this be a sign of a lung fungus as well???? Should I be seeing a physician???? I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa and have no symptoms or never heard of histoplasmosis until this time.

Answer:

Ocular histoplasmosis is restricted to the eye. One cannot find the fungus within the eye. Rather it appears to be a strong immune response to the fungus. It is quite likely that you have been exposed to the fungus and may have benign lung nodules caused by it. In fact about 80% of people living in southwestern Ohio have been exposed. It usually does not cause a life-threatening illness.

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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