Histoplasmosis Outbreak at Nebraska Camp
EMSL Analytical provides testing to identify histoplasma in air, soil, and other environmental samples.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a histoplasmosis outbreak that has infected counselors and attendees at a day camp in Nebraska.
Following the outbreak, camp counselors were instructed to complete a questionnaire revealing information including activities on the campsite, campsite assignments, and their symptoms. Parents of camp attendees were given an internet-based questionnaire regarding their child’s camp attendance and symptoms.
Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection that is common in the United States with high concentrations near the Mississippi, St. Lawrence, and Ohio River valleys. Illnesses are typically acquired from inhaling soil that is contaminated with bird or bat droppings. At the campsite, bat droppings were detected on picnic tables and dirt floors at two camp sites. The areas have since been fenced off.
Of the 32 counselors, 19 had illnesses meeting the case definition; 11 had a fever and at least one other symptom; and 10 had medical treatments for their symptoms. There are 797 children that attend the day camp, but only 142 were tested for H. capsulatum. Of the 142, 17 children tested positive for the infection.
“Those infected with histoplasmosis usually experience fever, headache, and respiratory symptoms, but most individuals recover without treatment; however, those with a weak immune system are at a higher risk of developing an infection that spreads throughout the body,” states Diane Miskowski, MPH, Business Development Manager at EMSL Analytical. “EMSL Analytical’s DNA Laboratory can rapidly detect fungi that may cause histoplasmosis and other infections using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analysis of air and soil samples.”
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is the nation’s leading testing laboratory with over 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada. We are a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food, and materials testing services to professionals and the general public. Please visit our website for a complete listing of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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