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Histoplasmosis in Children


Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection of your child's lungs. It is caused by breathing in soil that is infected with fungus. The fungus is most common in soil that contains bird and bat droppings.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


  • Antifungals help treat an infection caused by fungus.
  • Steroids decrease swelling in your child's lungs.
  • Acetaminophen helps decrease pain, fever, and swelling.
  • NSAIDs help decrease pain, fever, and swelling.


  • Blood and urine tests will show if your child has a histoplasmosis infection. Blood tests may also be done to check your child's blood cell levels and get information about his or her overall health.
  • A sputum sample can be collected and tested for histoplasmosis.
  • A biopsy is a sample of tissue taken from your child's lymph nodes, skin, lungs, bone, or liver. The sample is tested for fungus.
  • A chest x-ray is used to check for fluid or swelling in your child's lungs.


  • Oxygen may be given if your child's blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. Your child may get oxygen through a mask placed over his or her nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in the nostrils. Ask your child's healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.
  • IV fluids may be given to treat or prevent dehydration.
  • A ventilator is a machine that gives your child oxygen and breathes for him or her. An endotracheal (ET) tube is put into your child's mouth or nose and attached to the ventilator.


Histoplasmosis may be more serious in children younger than 1 year. The infection may cause serious breathing problems. It may also spread to other places in your child's body.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.