Possible Histoplasmosis Outbreak Reported in Indiana

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Possible Histoplasmosis Outbreak Reported in Indiana

Woodstock, IL, December 4th, 2012 -- Last month, students from an Indiana High School are reported to have likely come down with histoplasmosis.  Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum. It can grow as yeast at body temperature in mammals. Symptoms of the infection vary greatly, but the disease primarily affects the lungs. 

 

WISH reported the case that involves students from Shelbyville, Indiana.  Those infected belong to the Shelbyville Student Council and the National Honor Society.  It is believed that they may have become infected during a school fundraiser that involved cleaning out an old barn.

 

Histoplasma capsulatum lives in the environment, usually in association with large amounts of bird or bat droppings. Although not all people exposed to the fungus become ill, lung infections can occur after a person inhales the airborne fungal spores.

 

“In the United States, Histoplasma capsulatum is common in the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys,” reported Ed Chambers, President of EC2, Inc., one of the leading indoor air quality and infection control consulting firms in the Midwest.  “People should avoid places with large amounts of bird or bat droppings, especially if they have a weakened immune system.  Many homes and properties, including in the Chicago area where EC2 is based, have issues with these animals living in attics or leaving their droppings on roofs near air intakes.  If people suspect they may have a problem, environmental experts such as those at EC2, should be contacted to investigate.  If large amounts of droppings are found, a professional company that handles these types of situations should be hired to remove the waste,” he continued.

 

EC2 has sponsored an educational video about Histoplasma capsulatum and histoplasmosis that can be seen at:

http://youtu.be/z3PJzOwcGeE

 

To learn more about Histoplasma capsulatum, indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental and health & safety issues, please visit http://www.4ec2inc.com, email info@4ec2inc.com or call (815) 703-9000.

 

About EC2, Inc.

EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States.  Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 Corporations.

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