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Risk & Prevention

Who gets infected with Cryptococcus neoformans?

C. neoformans infections are more common among people with weakened immune systems, but on very rare occasions, they can occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Risk factors for infection with C. neoformans include:

  • Corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive medications
  • Solid organ transplantation
  • Heart, lung, or liver diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy

How can I prevent infection with Cryptococcus neoformans?

It is difficult to prevent exposure to C. neoformans because it is present throughout the environment. Most people breathe in small amounts of many different types of fungal spores every day but never become sick. However, people who have weakened immune systems should avoid areas contaminated by bird droppings, and should avoid contact with birds. If you have symptoms that you think may be caused by C. neoformans, you should see a doctor.

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