Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum)
Histoplasmosis is a rare fungal infection caused by Histoplasma capsulatum. Infection occurs by inhaling spores of the fungus, which is found in soil. In North America, histoplasmosis occurs primarily in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. In Minnesota, the incidence appears higher in southern and western Minnesota, but cases have been reported from across the state. Many people who inhale the spores do not get sick. If people develop illness, symptoms often include a cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Common activities associated with exposure include farming, exposure to soil enriched with bird or bat guano, remodeling or demolition of old buildings, and clearing trees or brush in which birds have roosted.
In 2018, there were 57 confirmed cases and 127 probable cases of histoplasmosis in Minnesota, compared to 36 confirmed cases and 147 probable cases in 2017.
- Histoplasmosis – CDC webpage with information on symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment.
- Information for Healthcare Professionals about Histoplasmosis – CDC link
- Histoplasmosis - Protecting Workers at Risk – This booklet is the most recent edition of the NIOSH document Histoplasmosis: Protecting Workers at Risk.
Reporting Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum)
Healthcare providers and clinical laboratories are required to report cases to the Minnesota Department of Health.