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Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by a fungus called Histoplasma.  The fungus lives in the environment, particularly in soil that contains large amounts of bird or bat droppings. In the United States, Histoplasma mainly lives in the central and eastern states, especially areas around the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The fungus also lives in parts of Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

People can get histoplasmosis after breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air. Although most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick, those who do may have a fever, cough, and fatigue. Many people who get histoplasmosis will get better on their own without medication, but in some people, such as those who have weakened immune systems, the infection can become severe.

For other fungal topics, visit the fungal diseases Homepage.

Histoplasmosis Topics

Microscopy of Histoplasma capsulatumDefinition

What is Histoplasmosis?

Man with thermometer in his mouth while holding his head.Symptoms

Learn about histoplasmosis symptoms

Man pouring fertilizer on tree root.Risk & Prevention

Who is at risk?

Life cycle of Histoplasma capsulatum: Environmental Form, Host-associated Form, and Areas of Endemic for Histoplasmosis.Sources of Infection

How do people get histoplasmosis?

female doctor and older female patientDiagnosis & Testing

How is histoplasmosis diagnosed?

Man pouring pills in hand.Treatment

Antifungal treatment

A group of doctorsHealth Professionals

Technical information about histoplasmosis

A pie chart graphic.Statistics

How common is histoplasmosis?

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