Histoplasmosis is caused by the soil-dwelling dimorphic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Infection typically results from inhalation of aerosolized spores, and symptomatic infections usually involve pulmonary disease, though disseminated or non-pulmonary infections are possible. The Mississippi River Valley is known to be an endemic area. Additionally, geographic micro-foci exist inside and outside endemic areas, and are usually associated with soil containing bird or bat guano. 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.
A new case definition was implemented in 2017; thus, the current case count can only be compared with that year. In 2018, there were 57 confirmed cases and 127 probable cases of histoplasmosis compared to 36 confirmed cases and 147 probable implemented in 2017; thus, the current case count can only be compared with that year. In 2018, there were 57 confirmed cases and 127 probable cases of histoplasmosis compared to 36 confirmed cases and 147 probable cases in 2017. The median age of cases was 46.5 years (range, 4 months to 84 years); 118 (64%) were male. Of the 157 cases with race reported, 137 (87%) were white, 7 (5%) were black, 6 (4%) were Asian/ Pacific Islander, 4 (3%) were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 3 (2%) reported more than one race. Of the 138 with ethnicity reported, 7 (5%) were Hispanic.
Seventy-two cases (39%) were hospitalized, and of the 152 whose status was known, 37 (39%) were immunocompromised. Three (2%) cases died, and histoplasmosis was the primary cause of death in 1 of those cases..
- For up to date information see>> Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum)
- Full issue>> Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, 2018