What Is Histoplasmosis?

What Is Histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection that can affect both animals and humans. The spores of the fungus are most often found in the droppings of infected birds and bats. This is one reason why, if you have nuisance birds or bats around your home, it’s a good idea to call a pest control company promptly.

Types of Histoplasmosis

There are two types of histoplasmosis: acute and chronic. Acute histoplasmosis typically results in mild symptoms, and it only rarely causes complications. Acute illnesses occur on a short-term basis. If the illness is prolonged, it is said to be chronic. Chronic histoplasmosis is less common, but it can become life-threatening without medical care. With this type, there is the potential for the infection to spread throughout the body. Potentially fatal histoplasmosis is primarily a risk for individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of histoplasmosis tend to develop within three to 17 days after the patient has been exposed to the fungal spores. The most common symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and muscle aches. Chest discomfort and a dry cough can also occur. Occasionally, patients may develop joint pain and a rash.

Chronic histoplasmosis is associated with more serious symptoms. These can include unintentional weight loss and a cough that produces blood. It’s possible for the signs of chronic histoplasmosis to mimic those of tuberculosis.

Complications

While complications are more likely to occur in infants and patients with compromised immune systems, even otherwise healthy individuals may develop them. The potential complications of histoplasmosis include pericarditis, which is the inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart. Pericarditis can affect the ability of the heart to pump blood. Other complications can include adrenal insufficiency (adrenal gland damage), acute respiratory distress syndrome (severe lung damage), and meningitis (brain and spinal cord inflammation).

Protect your family from diseases carried by pests by scheduling service from Hilltop Pest Control. They are a full-service pest control company serving the Steamboat Springs, CO area from discreet, unmarked trucks. You can request an appointment by calling (970) 879-7796.