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What is histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is a disease sometimes associated with bats. Its symptoms vary greatly, but the disease primarily affects the lungs. Occasionally, the infection can spread to other organs. When this happens, it can be fatal if untreated.

Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus that may be associated with accumulations of bird or bat droppings (also known as guano). Histoplasmosis can contaminate the guano, and when areas with heavy accumulations of guano are disturbed, the infectious fungal spores can be released and aerosolized.

The fungus that causes histoplasmosis can be found throughout the world, including certain areas of the United States, such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The fungus may also be present in places that harbor large populations of bats, including caves.

Many infected persons do not have any symptoms of infection. Sometimes, antifungal medications are used to treat persons with histoplasmosis, particularly if they have severe or prolonged symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.