Rare disease transmitted by bat and bird droppings discovered in rural Alberta

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  • Global News published this video item, entitled “Rare disease transmitted by bat and bird droppings discovered in rural Alberta” – below is their description.

    Teams from Alberta Precision Laboratory (APL) and the University of Alberta (U of A) have discovered that a rare pulmonary disease linked to bats and birds has made its home in Alberta.

    Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection transmitted through bat and bird droppings that can be present in contaminated dust particles.

    When inhaled, patients experience respiratory infections with flu-like symptoms like cough, fever, chills and headache.

    Histoplasmosis has always been a travel-related disease, according to a Thursday news release from Alberta Health Services, and cases are usually related to people who have come into contact with droppings in old homes, churches, construction sites and parks.

    There were 45 cases confirmed in Alberta between 2011 and 2018.

    The team at APL and the U of A started looking into whether the disease was being transmitted in Alberta when they realized positive cases had started to be confirmed in the lab that didn’t have any connection to travel.

    The researchers used epidemiologic data and genetic analysis of the confirmed cases in Alberta to determine 15 of them were locally acquired.

    The cases were primarily in rural Alberta including Sundre, Stettler and county, Stony Plain and Spruce Grove.

    For more info, please go to https://globalnews.ca/news/7704434/alberta-rare-bat-bird-droppings-disease-histoplasmosis/

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