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What diseases do bats carry in the United States?

Rabies is perhaps the most well known disease associated with bats. Along with animals such as dogs, foxes, raccoons and skunks, bats are one of the primary animals that transmit rabies.

Histoplasmosis is another disease associated with bats. Its symptoms vary greatly, but the disease primarily affects the lungs. Occasionally, other organs are affected. When this happens it can be fatal if untreated.

In addition, histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus that grows in soil and material contaminated with droppings from animals, including bats. Droppings, also known as bat guano, can contaminate the soil and cause infectious spores to be released when the soil is disturbed.

Even though it can be found throughout the world, it is widespread in certain areas of the United States and can be found in places that harbor large populations of bats, including caves.

While most infected persons have no apparent ill effects, antifungal medications are used to treat many forms of the disease.

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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.