An infection of the lungs, Histoplasmosis is caused by inhalation of the spores of a particular fungus. The fungus, native to central and eastern states in the U.S., is called Histoplasma capsulatum. It is a very common fungus, in those areas, as it grows in the soil and in the droppings of birds and bats.
For many individuals, the contraction of a histoplasmosis infection will not cause any symptoms. The individual may pass through it without ever knowing he or she had it.
Others are lucky as well, only suffering mild symptoms. The acute form of Histoplasmosis is like getting a mild flu, and it passes relatively quickly.
However, there are those individuals who are unfortunate enough to develop the chronic form of Histoplasmosis. With symptoms similar to tuberculosis, it can also spread throughout the body. Primarily, this only occurs in vulnerable individuals like young children, the elderly, and those with AIDS.
Histoplasmosis is also more common amongst those whose occupations are likely to expose them to the fungus. Some examples are farmers, bridge workers, pest control workers, spelunkers, roofers, heating and A/C workers, gardeners, construction workers, and chimney cleaners.