Paracoccidioidomycosis digital illustration

Paracoccidioidomycosis Save

ICD-10 code: B41

Chapter: Certain infectious and parasitic diseases

Paracoccidioidomycosis: An Overview of the Fungal Infection

Paracoccidioidomycosis, also known as PCM or South American blastomycosis, is a fungal infection caused by the fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. This infection is prevalent in Latin America, with Brazil being the most affected country.

PCM primarily affects the lungs, but it can also spread to other parts of the body, including the skin, lymph nodes, and the central nervous system. The fungus is usually found in soil and can be contracted by inhaling spores.

Symptoms of Paracoccidioidomycosis

The symptoms of PCM can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the organs affected. The most common symptoms of PCM include:

  1. Cough
  2. Fever
  3. Chest pain
  4. Shortness of breath
  5. Skin lesions

In some cases, patients may experience weight loss, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. The symptoms of PCM can be similar to other respiratory illnesses, which can make it challenging to diagnose.

Treatment of Paracoccidioidomycosis

PCM is treated with antifungal medications, such as itraconazole and fluconazole. The treatment duration can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the patient's response to the medication.

In severe cases, where the infection has spread beyond the lungs, patients may require hospitalization and intravenous antifungal medications.

Prevention of Paracoccidioidomycosis

Preventing PCM can be challenging, as the fungus is widespread in soil. However, there are some measures that individuals can take to reduce their risk of contracting the infection:

  1. Avoiding exposure to soil and dust in areas where the fungus is prevalent
  2. Using protective masks and clothing when working in soil-rich areas
  3. Maintaining good hygiene practices, such as washing hands regularly
  4. Seeking medical attention if experiencing symptoms of PCM

In conclusion, Paracoccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection prevalent in Latin America that primarily affects the lungs but can also spread to other parts of the body. It is treated with antifungal medication, and prevention measures can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting the infection.