Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by the inhalation of fungal spores that are commonly found in the droppings of birds and bats.

It is most commonly transmitted when these spores become airborne, most often during cleaning, household repairs, or building demolition.

Soil contaminated with bird or bat droppings can also be a source of infection, so farmers and agronomists are at higher risk of exposure to the spores of the fungus.

Most infected people never develop symptoms and are unaware that they are carriers of the fungus. But in some people, exposure to these types of pathogens can cause serious health problems.

This is most often seen in infants and people with suppressed immune systems. There is an effective treatment even for the most severe forms of the infection.

What are the symptoms?

There are several forms of the disease. The mildest ones may not cause clinical manifestations, but the most severe ones can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms usually appear 3 to 17 days after exposure and are most often:

• Fever;
• Chills;
• Headache;
• Muscle aches;
• Dry cough;
• Chest discomfort;

In some people, the fungal infection can cause joint pain and a rash.

And those with a chronic lung disease such as emphysema can develop the chronic form of the disease, causing additional symptoms such as unexplained weight loss and coughing up bloody sputum.

The symptoms of the chronic form of the fungal infection can mimic those of tuberculosis.

Disseminated histoplasmosis

The most severe type of yeast infection can develop in infants and people with compromised immune systems and can affect any part of the body, including the eyes, liver, central nervous system, skin and adrenal glands.< /p>

If left untreated, this form of the disease is usually fatal.

When to seek medical attention?

Contact your doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with bird or bat droppings, especially if you have a weakened immune system.

What are the causes?

The infection is caused by reproductive cells /spores/ of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Spores are extremely light and are carried in the air by the wind when it is contaminated with dust, most often from construction waste or during major repairs of roof structures where there are many bird nests.

Even if you have recovered from the infection once, you can get infected again, but this time it will be in a milder form.

Histoplasma capsulatum grows best in moist soils rich in organic material, especially bird and bat dung. For this reason, it is especially common in chicken and pigeon cages, old barns, caves and parks. The fungal infection is not contagious, so the sick person cannot infect another person.

Treatment of histoplasmosis

Treatment is usually not necessary if you have the mild form of the fungal infection. But if you develop its severe form, you will most likely need treatment with one or more antifungal drugs. Some of these medications are for oral administration, but the most effective are those infused intravenously.


• If your immune system is weakened, avoiding places where construction and repair work is carried out. It is also not advisable to visit caves or try to trap or feed birds.
• Moisten the soil before you start digging or digging the soil so that it is moist so as to prevent the spores of the fungus from becoming airborne and you inhale.
• It is best to wear a mask when caving or having to clean up construction debris.

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