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(NPR)   Do you ever go near birds, bats, dirt, or potted plants? Your life is at risk from a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum   ( divider line
    More: PSA, fungus, Histoplasma, houseplants, fungal infections, respiratory tract infections, morbidity and mortality conference  
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1136 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Oct 2013 at 6:07 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

9 Comments     (+0 »)
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2013-10-24 06:10:20 PM  
Me neighbor had bats in his attic. Cleaning company went up there with haz mat suits.
2013-10-24 06:26:35 PM  
IIRC, Bob Dylan nearly died from histoplasmosis.
2013-10-24 06:31:13 PM  
Everybody Panic?
2013-10-24 06:40:01 PM  
Bats are also trying to kill you with rabies, which is nice
2013-10-24 06:40:19 PM  

FrancoFile: Everybody Panic?

Only if you have AIDS
2013-10-24 06:55:54 PM

2013-10-24 07:19:27 PM  
Had it when I was three or four years old. So they tell me. Still kicking at 49.
2013-10-24 09:23:24 PM  
Hell, I live in the lower Ohio Valley, where you are guarateed to be exposed to Histoplasma capsulatum to the point of developing frank immunogenicity thanks to the whole area having been lovingly marinated in the shiat of quadrillions of passenger pigeons before their extinction.  I should be glad I'm not dead of it already :D

Yes, living in the Lower Ohio Valley is pretty much considered to be THE biggest risk factor short of performing cloaca-to-mouth on a pigeon; yes, I am very serious re the whole passenger-pigeon thing, as the stuff is in the soil quite permanently thanks to this part of the country formerly being a major nesting and flocking area for passenger pigeons--which used to flock at levels sufficient to give Al Hitchcock apoplexy for the next hundred or so lifetimes (estimated in the billions per flock with a known flight in Ontario at their peak, and reported to have literally blocked out the sun when taking flight).

The big worry normally re histoplasmosis is if you have a buggered immune system somehow (either thanks to HIV or genetic immunodeficiency, or due to being on immunosuppressants due to organ transplant/rheumatoid arthritis/psoriasis/Crohn's disease) or if you're working in an area where there's a lot of bird crap or bat crap or there's been a LOT of dust kicked up and churned (like from a tornado).  Usually people in the Ohio Valley get a flulike illness from it and test positive in a skin test thereafter (like if you've been exposed to TB), folks with immunodeficiencies or who get exposed to a lot of histoplasma spores get a disease that acts a lot like TB (and requires similarly longterm treatment with antifungals).  It's been speculated as one contributing factor as to why the Ohio Valley is pretty consistently the Asthma Capital of the US, but part of that too is that we do burn a shiatload of coal here...the histoplasma in the air probably doesn't help, though. :D

Well, in this case, it's that AND the fact they found the cases in Montana...which is more than a bit weird epidemiologically-speaking, because...well...histoplasmosis is pretty much an Ohio Valley Crud, like coccidioidomycosis is a San Joaquin Valley crud (it's known as Valley Fever and an outbreak of it at a prison is the cause of a prisoners-rights trial in California at the moment).  Most fungal cruds of this sort tend to be restricted to specific areas of the country, and don't spread so well (anyone who's played the fungus level of Plague, Inc. knows this :D).  Realistically, seeing histoplasmosis (and a histoplasmosis cluster at that) in Montana is (epidemiologically speaking) every bit as weird as, say, seeing an outbreak of yaws or chikungnuya in Cincinnati or St. Louis.
2013-10-25 01:47:32 AM  
Movin' to Montana soon
Yippy Ty Yo Ty Ay
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