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Histoplasmosis In Children
is a fungal infection of your child's lungs. It is caused by breathing in soil that is infected with fungus. The fungus is most common in soil that contains bird and bat droppings.
Common signs and symptoms:
Most children do not have signs or symptoms. A mild infection may cause fever, chills, muscle aches, or fatigue. Your child may also have headaches, chest pain, and a dry cough. Symptoms may last 2 weeks to 4 weeks. A severe infection may cause any of the following:
- A cough with bloody or thick yellow sputum
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- A rash
- Weight loss or poor feeding in infants
Call 911 for any of the following:
- Your child has a seizure.
- Your child has trouble breathing.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your child is confused.
- Your child coughs up blood or thick, yellow, sputum.
- Your child's heart is beating faster than usual.
- Your child has a severe headache and a stiff neck.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child's symptoms get worse or do not get better in 2 weeks.
- Your child has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Treatment for histoplasmosis:
Most children do not need treatment for histoplasmosis. Your child may need any of the following:
- Antifungals help treat an infection caused by fungus.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to give your child and how often to give it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Have your child rest as directed:
Your child may need to avoid strenuous activities such as sports and running until symptoms are gone. Ask your child's healthcare provider when he or she can return to normal activities. Your child cannot spread the infection to other people. Your child can usually return to school or daycare when he or she feels better.
Give your child plenty of liquids:
Ask how much liquid your child should drink each day and which liquids are best for him or her. Liquids can help your child recover and prevent dehydration.
Prevent another histoplasmosis infection:
Keep your child away from places where the fungus grows. This includes caves, barns, chicken coops, and under bridges. It also includes chimneys and attics. If your child has a weak immune system, he or she may need to take antifungal medicine to prevent another infection.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.