Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum) - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum)

Histoplasmosis in Minnesota: Cheryl's Story

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.

About Histoplasmosis

Statistics and Maps

Thumbnail of graph showing histoplasmosis cases in Minnesota by age and gender, 2017-2018

Histoplasmosis Cases in Minnesota by Age and Gender, 2017-2018 (n= 376)

Histoplasmosis occurs most frequently in middle-age and older adults.  The median age of cases is 50 years, and cases range from 0 – 85 years of age. Male cases make up 64% of cases.

Thumbnail of graph showing histoplasmosis cases by month of diagnosis in Minnesota, 2017-2018

Histoplasmosis Cases in Minnesota by Month of Diagnosis, 2017-2018, (n=359)

Slightly fewer cases are diagnosed in late winter and early spring, but there is not a clear “season” for histoplasmosis infections.

Thumbnail of map of Minnesota showing average annual incidence of Histoplasmosis, 2017-2018

Average Annual Incidence of Histoplasmosis in Minnesota, 2017-2018, (n=376)

Incidence of histoplasmosis is generally higher in southern and western Minnesota, in contrast to blastomycosis.

Histoplasmosis, 2017
Minnesota Department of Health Disease Control Newsletter, Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Reporting

Reporting Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum)
Healthcare providers and clinical laboratories are required to report cases to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Updated Thursday, 19-Sep-2019 12:12:27 CDT