Blastomycosis is a fungal infection which, if left untreated, can be fatal.
Blastomycosis is rare in Europe, but here too there is a European variant of the pathogen, which is more restricted to North and Latin America. You should bring this to the attention of your doctor, especially after vacation trips or suspicious symptoms.
Blastomycosis: from the lungs to the skin
Blastomycosis is rare in Central Europe, but occurs in its form as “cryptococcosis”. Classical blastomycosis is usually brought in from Latin or North America, so you should watch out for suspicious symptoms , especially after vacation trips to the Americas.
Blastomycosis can also lead to death if left untreated, which is why you should inform your doctor about unclear symptoms and after traveling to corresponding areas that this is a disease, which is very rarely found in Europe , in which the lungs first and then the skin and others Organs are affected.
Protection against infection is impossible!
Blastomycosis is a fungal disease in which the fungal spores get into the lungs when you breathe. The spores are so small that they are invisible. They are mostly contained in dust.
Infection from person to person is impossible and always wear a respirator. It becomes clear: it is practically impossible to protect yourself from infection.
It is all the more important to have at least heard of the disease and , if in doubt, to inform your family doctor about the possibility of an infection.
Especially after trips to North or Latin America and suspicious symptoms. Please note that if left untreated, blastomycosis is fatal!
Course of disease
At first, almost nothing is noticeable about an infection; the fungal spores in the lungs usually develop without major symptoms or discomfort. Only when the infestation spreads to the skin and other organs does the sick person notice something.
The symptoms are:
- Light fever
- Cough with phlegm
- Night sweats
- Feeling weak
- Weight loss
- Skin papules
- Reddening of the skin
As the disease progresses, nerves and brain can be affected. Then there are visual disturbances, symptoms of paralysis and, if the disease progresses, dementia.
Not all symptoms are always present and the lung involvement often runs for 1-3 weeks without any symptoms.
In Europe, the diagnosis of blastomycosis is made more difficult by the fact that it is very rare and mostly only occurs from North or Latin America.
In order to even screen for blastomycosis, your doctor needs to know if you have been to such a geographic area. Always tell your family doctor, without reference to any complaints, if you are going or have been traveling outside of Europe.
If there is a suspicion, the pathogenic fungal infestation can be detected in the mucus that is secreted when coughing. To do this, your mucus must be examined in the laboratory and any fungal infestation must be cultivated. This will take a few days so you won’t get the diagnosis right away.
Since the disease leads to death if left untreated, you should definitely refrain from “doctoring around” with home remedies. Your doctor must prescribe medication that reliably kills the fungal attack and strengthens the immune system.
Which drugs are depends on the severity of the infestation, the progression of the disease and the specific fungus.
The sooner you start therapy, the better. Because once the nervous system is attacked by the fungus, the destroyed nerve structure can no longer recede and permanent damage occurs.
If your doctor has prescribed medication for you, your top priority is to take the medication as directed.
Only then can you try home remedies to relieve symptoms. First and foremost, it is about coughing up the phlegm, why
- expectorants, e.g. eucalyptus,
- fresh fruit against vitamin and mineral loss through night sweats
- and appetizing herbs (e.g. peppermint)
can help to alleviate or compensate for symptoms such as cough, weakness, loss of appetite and mineral loss. However, these measures are never a substitute for medication!