Recent reports indicate that histoplasmosis is a widespread infection or disease or both, affecting rural and urban populations. Long known to be endemic in Mississippi and Ohio River valley communities, the infection has now become the concern of eastern and midwestern communities.1-6
Infection is usually transmitted by airborne dust which contains Histoplasma capsulatum spores. Birds are considered to play some role in the life cycle of this organism, probably by adding to the soil, through excreta, a factor that favors the growth of the fungus. They may also aid in disseminating this agent by carrying to new locations, on feet and feathers, fecal dust infested with spores.
The grounds of the Manteno State Hospital, which is the largest mental facility in Illinois with a bed capacity of approximately 5,000, have been under study as a microenvironment of histoplasmosis during the past ten years. Many portions of these grounds which