Histoplasmosis, a Silent Killer Disease Caused by Bats

histoplasma spores in lungs

Bats are a shy animal. They live by lurking in the dark and moist corners and avoid having contacts with humans. When the day comes, they sleep. And when the night falls, they feed.

holding a bat carefullyIf you have never read scientific articles about bats, the chances are that you get the image of the animal from pop-culture reference. Batman and Dracula are two famous figures that strongly associate with bats. Batman may give you the sense that living in a bat cave is okay for humans. Dracula represents bats as devil creatures preying on their victim’s blood.

In reality, those images are all false. First, only three species of bats feed on blood. They are Desmodus rotundus, Diphylla ecaudata, and Diaemus youngi. And all of them are living in Americas. Second, living in a bat’s case is a terrible idea. Histoplasmosis is a deadly disease caused by bat’s droppings that can infect human without causing an alarming symptom until it is severe.

Guanos at Your Home

bat dropping in the atticThe worst news about Histoplasmosis is that you do not have to live in a bat’s cave to catch the disease. In fact, house’s ceiling is the most favorite place for the bats. As long as there is a population of bats in a region, the houses nearby have the chances to have groups of bats nesting in there.

Guanos are the other name of bat’s droppings. And as stated in the third paragraph, they are the source of histoplasmosis disease. When the bats live in their natural habitat, guanos will not be a threat unless you are in close proximity. The disease is caused by a species of fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. The fungus releases airborne spores that can enter a person’s respiratory system.

Check your house for every three months. If you encounter a foul and rancid smell from the roof or ceiling, investigate the source. However, observe it by keeping a distance. Remember that the disease is spread through the air. Without a proper mask and skin protection, you can suffer from skin rash and respiratory infection.
Read more about how professionals remove a bat infestation on Bat Exclusion Process – Get Rid Of Bats. You will learn that it would be better to call a pest control than to handle things on your own.

The Insidious Symptoms

plaques in the lungsHistoplasmosis is a silent killer because the symptoms are not unique. They can resemble the ones of Tuberculosis, Acute Respiratory Infection, or allergic reactions. Consequently, the doctors often give incorrect prescriptions. Here is a list of those symptoms:

  1. Fever
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Drastic weight loss
  4. Extortion
  5. Seizure
  6. Confusion

Histoplasmosis can be more aggressive when it attacks babies. Humans in growth spurts have not yet developed strong immunity. If they get infected by a disease like Histoplasmosis, they will be prone to suffer from organ failures.

People with autoimmune disorders also experience the worst consequences from Histoplasmosis. Skin rashes, brain damage, and lungs failure can happen to them even faster than babies.

The Prevention

Besides improving the house’s hygiene and doing a regular inspection, you should also be very careful when entering a cave or other places with possible bat’s infestation. Now that you have realized the health risk which guano can impose, wearing an air mask in an exploration no longer seems too much, does it?

The Right Attitude toward the Bats

Although bats can cause histoplasmosis, their existence in the wild creates a balance in the ecosystem. If you happen to encounter them in the wild, it is important that you should not disturb them. If you find them in your house, do not exterminate but control them. Professional pest control knows the best about handling bat infestation. They can remove the bats and release them to their proper habitat.