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Infectious Diseases

Histoplasmosis

02/15/2000

Question:

I was wanting to ask about histoplasmosis in a 6 year old child. What i need to watch for ect. also if you could tell about the disease and how you get it .

Answer:

Histoplasmosis is a soil-based fungus that is prevalent in the midwestern and southeastern United States. Infection is acquired by inhalation of spores from the soil. These spores exist in bird guano, particularly starlings and blackbirds. In addition, it can be found in chicken guano and bat guano. Most infections are benign and do not differ between adults and children. The usual symptoms, if any develop, are an influenza-like illness with cough, fever, and chest pain. Sore throat would be uncommon. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for a physician to distinguish histoplasmosis from a viral infection unless he/she was aware that the child had been around areas in which histoplasmosis is prevalent. Once infected, we remain infected for life, although the vast, vast majority of us do not have any problems with this infection.

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Response by:

George S Deepe, Jr, MD George S Deepe, Jr, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Director of Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati