Histoplasmosis and Cleanup of Bird, Bat, Rodent and Animal Feces Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection which primarily affects the lungs, but can occasionally invade other parts of the human body. It's caused by the histoplasma fungus that grows as a mould in soil. Infection results from breathing-in airborne particles. Anyone can contract histoplasmosis but it occurs most often in the very young or elderly and in individuals with compromised immune systems. Birds (especially chickens), bats, dogs, cats, rats, skunks, opossum, foxes and other animals can carry and spread the disease. Soil contaminated with bird or bat droppings may have a higher concentration of histoplasma. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, ranging from a flu-like illness to serious lung infections. In immune compromised individuals, the disease may spread to the bone marrow, lungs, liver and lymph nodes, making the infection fatal. Symptoms may appear within 5 to 18 days after exposure. Most people, however, do not experience any symptoms. Initial infection usually results in increased protection against repeated infection, although the immunity is not total. To prevent cases of histoplasmosis it is important to minimize exposure to dust in contaminated and enclosed environments like chicken coops and their surrounding soils. Those working in high risk environments should always wear protective masks and spray the area with water to keep dust from becoming airborne. Protect yourself against histoplasmosis by calling the experts at ERT to handle the problem safely and discreetly.