PCP is diagnosed using a sample from a patients lungs. The sample is usually mucus that is either coughed up by the patient (called sputum) or collected by a procedure called bronchoalveolar lavage. PCP is extremely rare in healthy people, but the fungus that causes this disease can live in their lungs without causing symptoms. In fact, up to 20% of adults might carry this fungus at any given time, and the immune system removes the fungus after several months.Most people who get PCP have weakened immune systems, meaning that their bodies dont fight infections well. About 30-40% of people who get PCP have HIV/AIDS. The other people who get PCP are usually taking medicine (such as corticosteroids) that lowers the bodys ability to fight germs or sickness or have other medical conditions, such as: Chronic lung diseases Cancer Inflammatory diseases or autoimmune diseases (for example, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) Solid organ or stem cell transplant The symptoms of PCP can develop over several days or weeks and include:Fever, Cough, Difficulty breathing, Chest pain, Chills, Fatigue (tiredness).
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