She was 55 years old. It started with small cough with phlegm. She judged it as a summer cold and took some over counter medicine and didn’t go see a doctor. She was confident about her health because she had been a nurse for 30 years and had just quit it. A week later small cough changed to strong cough. She woke up with strong cough and couldn’t sleep.
She felt something wrong and went to a respiratory specialist and she was diagnosed as Pulmonary Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) infection, which is a disease that Mycobacerium Avium Complex (MAC) goes into lungs by breathing and destroys lungs’ cells, leading to lowering of breathing function. Serious cases cause respiratory failure and in the worst case, it results in death. Recently this disease increases rapidly.
What makes this disease dreadful is that it is impossible to specify the source of infection because MAC lives anywhere in soil and water so it is possible to infect MAC from a place where water is used such as shower or a bathtub and from gardening or playing with dirt. It means that it can happen to anyone at anytime and anywhere. Also once it occurs, it is difficult to cure and sometimes it is necessary to continue treatments throughout their lives. In her case, the symptom subsided after 2 years of medication.
How to distinguish Summer-type Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Pulmonary MAC infection from a summer cold
A summer cold is caused by viruses and usually subsides within 7-10 days. If the symptoms such as slight fever, cough or phlegm continue for more than 2 weeks, it is possible that it is no longer a summer cold.
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