3. Pneumocystis pneumonia
Another fungal infection that primarily attacks people with underlying conditions is Pneumocystis pneumonia, or PCP. Caused by a fungus called Pneumocystis jirovecii, PCP infections usually spread through the air.
With PCP, you may experience fever, cough, labored breathing, chills, and fatigue. Symptoms tend to develop over a few days. However, it is possible to carry the fungus and not become ill. In these cases, the body’s immune system fights off and eliminates the fungus over time.
The disease is very rare in healthy people, but can be devastating to those who have conditions like HIV/AIDS or a blood cancer. Folks who have had an organ transplant or suffer from an inflammatory or autoimmune disorder are also in the high risk group for PCP.
There are medications available to treat PCP, and people at greater risk may be put on a preventative course to lower the risk of contracting this opportunistic infection. Without treatment, PCP can lead to death.