It's difficult to prevent exposure to the fungus that causes histoplasmosis, especially in areas where the disease is widespread. Even so, these steps may help reduce the risk of infection:
Jan. 08, 2015
- Avoid exposure. If your immune system is compromised, avoid renovation projects that might expose you to contaminated soil. Likewise, cave exploring and raising birds — such as pigeons or chickens — aren't advised.
- Spray contaminated soil. Before you work in or dig soil that's likely to harbor the fungus that causes histoplasmosis, spray it thoroughly with water. This can help prevent spores from being released into the air. Spraying chicken coops and barns before cleaning them also can reduce your risk.
- Use an effective face mask. One of the best ways to protect yourself from soil-borne organisms is to wear a respirator mask. Consult the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to determine which type of mask will provide adequate protection for your level of exposure.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Information for healthcare professionals about histoplasmosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/histoplasmosis/health-professionals.html. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Histoplasmosis: Protecting workers at risk. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2005-109. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Who gets histoplasmosis? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/histoplasmosis/risk-prevention.html. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Mason RJ, et al. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- What is ARDS? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ards. Accessed Dec. 2, 2014.
- Wheat J, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary histoplasmosis. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.