Most scientists believe that
is spread in the air. It is not clear if it lives in soil or elsewhere. In healthy people, the fungus can exist in the lungs without causing pneumonia. However, in people who have a weakened immune system, PCP may cause a lung infection.
People who are at increased risk for PCP include those who:
If you get PCP, your treatment will depend on how serious the infection is. If you have a mild case, you will be given medication in pill form. If you have a severe case, you will probably be treated in the hospital. Medication will be given by IV.
Corticosteroids: given in severe cases when blood oxygen pressure falls below a certain level
Most of these treatments have side effects. You and your doctor should this into account when considering options.
Even when treatment is given for PCP, the death rate is 15% to 20%. It’s best to avoid getting PCP in the first place.
PCP can be prevented. If you are at risk for PCP, your doctor may recommend that you take medicine to prevent getting it. In general, for those with HIV infection, preventing PCP with medication is recommended if your CD4 cell count falls below 200. Other conditions, like having a temperature above 100˚F that lasts for more than two weeks, or getting a fungal infection in your mouth or throat, are reasons to start preventive therapy.
Some of the same drugs used to
an infection can be taken regularly to
If you get PCP once, you are more likely to get it again. Each time you get it, it causes damage to your lungs. Your body can suffer side effects from the drugs.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a