Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. Approximately 10 cases are reported each year in Wisconsin.
Many people infected with histoplasmosis do not become ill. When a person develops symptoms, it usually involves the lungs and is characterized by weakness, chills, fever, muscle aches, chest pains, and a dry cough. Chronic lung infections resemble tuberculosis and may progress over months or years.
Histoplasma capsulatum is found throughout the world including the United States. The fungus often grows in soil around chicken houses, areas harboring bats, caves, and under starling and blackbird roosts.