Dear Lung Line Nurse,
I recently had a bronchoscopy at National Jewish which revealed mycoplasma in my lungs. Is it contagious & is there any way of preventing me from "giving" it to other family members (hubby & kids)? I haven't read much about this subject.
I understand that mycoplasma is frequently found in lungs, particularly of asthmatics and other folks with lung conditions (I, hubby & kids all have asthma). I also understand that SOMETIMES treating it can result in dramatic improvement in lung function, while in others the results are "muddier." My National Jewish pulmonologist is currently pondeing whether to treat my mycoplasma again (we already treated it for several months a few years ago).
Any guidance and information about this subject is greatly appreciated.
The organism Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M pneumoniae) can cause throat infections and lung infections such as pneumonia. M pneumoniae is contagious when it causes these infections. It can spread quickly through a family or other closely-knit group. Treatment with an antibiotic will keep the infection from spreading. Preventative measures include frequent hand washing or the use of alcohol-based hand rubs. Also covering your mouth and nose with a tissue before sneezing or coughing will help to decrease the spread.
In a person with asthma, the organism M pneumoniae can be in the airways of the lungs without causing a lung infection like pneumonia. In this situation it is colonizing not infecting the lungs. So it is not contagious. This colonization of the airways can make it difficult for the asthma medicines to help. Treating the M pneumoniae with an antibiotic can result in the asthma medicines improving the asthma symptoms.
I recommend that you discuss your questions with your pulmonologist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center to learn how this information applies to your particular situation.
Thanks LungLine nurse. My pulmonologist has confirmed that my mycoplasma is NOT contagious, but I would appreciate any information or references about mycoplasma in lungs that you can share. Thanks. Aloha, Starion
My pulmo is still pondering whether to treat it, based on my oxygen saturation rates and how well I do on newly increased medications. My mycoplasma was only found via lavage but NOT in the biopsies or brushings from the bronchospy. Aloha, Starion
Here's a link: http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/communicable_diseases/en/myco.htm Mycoplasma Infection
"Mycoplasma infection is respiratory illness caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a microscopic organism related to bacteria.
Mycoplasma infection is most common in late summer and fall.
Mycoplasma is spread through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of infected people especially when they cough and sneeze. Transmission is thought to require prolonged close contact with an infected person. Spread in families, schools and institutions occurs slowly. The contagious period is probably fewer than 10 days and occasionally longer.
Antibiotics such as erythromycin clarithromycin, or azithromycin are effective treatment. However, because mycoplasma infection usually resolves on its own, antibiotic treatment of mild symptoms is not always necessary."
I happened to notice an inquiry you sent in 2002 regarding your frequently ill 15-year-old son. I see your recent inquiry about mycoplasma. I am wondering what was the outcome regarding your son. Perhaps there are some more messages from you that I haven't seen.
The reason I'm asking is that my son had very similar problems. After 6 years of frustration, finally at age 17 he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome by a respected doctor. Many people with CFS have mycoplasma infections, and sometimes family members acquire them. So if your son's diagnosis is still in limbo, post a message and I give your more info.
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