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Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP)
is a lung infection caused by the Pneumocystis jiroveci fungus. PJP is most often seen in people with a weak immune system. PJP is an opportunistic infection. This means that when your immune system is not working well, it cannot fight off the fungus.
Common signs and symptoms:
If you have AIDS, you may have worsening breathing problems or fast breathing. You may have a worsening cough with or without mucus. You may also have a fever, chills, weakness, or fatigue. If you do not have AIDS, you may have any of the following:
- Fever or chest pain
- Dry cough that may progress to a cough with mucus
- Trouble breathing
- Fast breathing and heartbeat
Seek care immediately if:
- You cough up blood.
- You have severe pain in your chest or trouble breathing.
- Your lips or fingernails turn blue.
Call your doctor if:
- You have a fever.
- Your skin is itchy, or you have a rash.
- You have chills, or feel weak or achy.
- You have new signs or symptoms.
- You have trouble sleeping.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
If you have other medical conditions and poor health, you will need to stay in a hospital for treatment. Your healthcare provider will treat conditions that weaken your immune system. You may need to stop taking certain medicines or getting treatments that weaken your immune system. You may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics prevent or fight a bacterial infection.
- Steroids help reduce swelling. This may help you breathe more easily.
- Extra oxygen may be needed to help you breathe easier. It may be given through a plastic mask over your mouth and nose, or it may be given through nasal prongs. These are short, thin tubes that rest just inside your nose.
Cover a sneeze or cough:
Use a tissue that covers your mouth and nose. Throw the tissue away in a trash can right away. Use the bend of your arm if a tissue is not available. Then wash your hands well with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer. Do not stand close to anyone who is sneezing or coughing.
Do not smoke:
Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
You may need extra oxygen to help you breathe easier. It may be given through a plastic mask over your mouth and nose, or it may be given through nasal prongs. These are short, thin tubes that rest just inside your nose. Tell your healthcare provider if your nose gets dry or if you get redness or sores on your skin. Never smoke or let anyone else smoke in the same room while your oxygen is on. Doing so may cause a fire.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to follow up with your healthcare provider to get vaccinations. An influenza vaccine is recommended yearly, and a pneumococcal vaccine every 5 years. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on these vaccines. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your follow-up 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.
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