Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012, 6:47 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012, 6:47 PM EST
SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - A dangerous infection is causing concern in Shelbyville.
Some high school students are undergoing treatment for what heath officials think may be Histoplasmosis.
It's an infection caused by breathing in spores from bird or bat droppings.
It's an infection you may have never heard of, but health investigators in Shelby County believe Histoplasmosis is responsible for making some Shelbyville High School Student Council and National Honor Society students sick.
Robert Lewis with the Shelby County Health Department says the fungus grows in large amounts of bird or bat droppings.
In this case, Lewis believes the students were exposed when they were clearing out an old barn for a school fundraiser
“They were probably sweeping it out so that stuff got into the air and its unfortunate very unfortunate that these children breathed it,” said Lewis.
Lewis says most of the time, Histoplasmosis effects the respiratory system, but can also cause fever, chills, joint pain, mouth sores, and red bumps on the lower part of the leg. More serious cases involve swelling near the heart, brain, or spine.
While Lewis suspects the infection in these cases, it has to be confirmed by the CDC.
24-Hour-News 8's John Laberge reached out to school officials to confirm the number of students affected and the location of the barn in question. Our calls have not been returned.
One child is being treated at Riley Hospital for Children.