The Facts about Bat Guano and Histoplasmosis

What is Bat Guano?

Bat guano is more commonly known as bat droppings, which refer to their fecal discharges. Bat guano, in other cultures, is a dominant natural resource used for fertilizer and other agricultural commodities. It even has a history as an ingredient in war explosives. Bat guano is prevalent in caves, of course, being a widely-known bat dwelling area. However, in residential and commercial areas of society, bat guano can sometimes be found in other areas, such as homes, buildings, attics, crawl spaces, and other dark, secure places.

What is Histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is an infectious disease that goes by many names. Among its various aliases, you will see it be called Spelunker’s Lung, Cave Disease, Ohio Valley Disease, Reticuloendotheliosis, and Darling’s Disease. Histoplasmosis is a disease passed on by a fungus called Histoplasmosis Capsulatum that grows in bat guano. This disease has symptoms similar to the flu, such as coughing and difficulty breathing. It is caught by inhaling the spores of the fungus. It is not contagious, but is can be easily inhaled unknowingly and active within days.

Who is at Risk to Catching the Disease?

Anyone can get Histoplasmosis, depending on where they are and what is happening around them. For example, a person with an extreme bat infestation problem in their attic can unknowingly inhale fungus spores and get the illness eventually. The more common victims would be cave miners and spelunkers, chimney cleaners, construction workers, repair people and HVAC workers, or anyone else in a field where they might be around dark, warm places often. Basically, anyone who comes across the fungi can be exposed and conflicted with it.

Is it Life Threatening?

In most cases, the answer is typically no. In other rare or extreme cases, fatality can occur. If an elderly person with a weakened immune system is heavily exposed over a long period of time, then it could be fatal. If the symptoms are bad and go untreated, fatality can also occur. But in most cases, the symptoms are mild and tend to go away on their own. Many people are unaware they even had Histoplasmosis because it is so similar to the common cold. If you are even feeling under the weather and think it could be related to bat guano or Histoplasmosis, contact your family doctor to set up a checkup right away.

For more information on bats in the attic, or bat removal, contact our licensed animal control company in Indiana at 317-535-4605 today. We are happy to provide free estimates, DIY assistance, and guidance on bat infestations and more. Be sure to visit out Indianapolis Bat Removal website for a list of our services too!

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