Coccidioidomycosis in non-endemic areas: a case series.Respir Med. 2001 Apr; 95(4):305-9.RM
Coccidioidomycosis is a systemic infection caused by the soil fungus Coccidioides immitis, which is endemic to the south-western United States. Manifestations range from flu-like illness to pneumonia and septic shock. Diagnosis may be delayed or missed in non-endemic areas because of the low index of suspicion. We describe a series of 23 patients with coccidioidomycosis at one institution in a non-endemic area. Diagnosis was often delayed. In two patients, the route of exposure could not be determined, but 20 patients had a history of residence or travel to endemic areas, and the remaining patient had an occupational history of exposure to fomites from an endemic region. Five patients were immunosuppressed. Most patients responded well to medical therapy, surgery, or both. Although coccidioidomycosis is rare in non-endemic areas, physicians must keep it in mind when evaluating patients who have traveled to endemic areas or who are immunosuppressed.