H. capsulatum grows in soil and material contaminated with bat or bird droppings. Birds do not appear to be infected by the fungus and do not directly transmit the disease, but bird excretions in soils acts as an enriching medium that promotes the growth of the fungus. Bats can become infected however, and they do transmit histoplasmosis through their droppings.
Contaminated soil can be potentially infectious for years. Spores can become airborne when contaminated soil is disturbed, such as during construction or renovations. Breathing the spores is what causes the infection.
Histoplasma capsulatum is found throughout the world and is endemic in certain areas of the United States, mostly along the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. The fungus has been found in poultry house litter, caves, areas harboring bats and in bird roosts.
“Most infected persons actually have no apparent ill effects,” reported Brian Mcfarland, Vice President of Legends Environmental Insurance Services, a leading provider of insurance coverage to the environmental industry. “But for those that do, it can be life threatening if left untreated. The acute respiratory disease is characterized by respiratory symptoms, a general ill feeling, fever, chest pains and a dry or nonproductive cough. Fortunately there are environmental and IAQ professionals that can test for this pathogenic fungi and also help prevent people from being exposed to it in the first place,” he continued.
Legends recently sponsored an educational video about Histoplasma capsulatum and histoplasmosis, it can be seen at:
To learn more about Legends Environmental Insurance Services please visit: http://www.Legends-
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