The Istrouma Area Council of Boy Scouts of America in Baton Rouge, Louisiana announced this week that several campers at Avondale Scout Reservation have recently been treated for histoplasmosis, including two hospitalizations.
According to Louisiana State Epidemiologist Raoult Ratard, at least 15 campers may have been exposed to the fungal disease.
The situation has prompted involvement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
According to a post on their Facebook page:
Upon learning of this matter, we closed the affected areas, and we are working with the Louisiana Office of Public Health. Please know we have taken all appropriate steps to ensure the safety of our participants and are working closely with state public health officials to determine the cause of this incident. At this time, we have limited activities at the campsite until additional information becomes available.
“We are aware of reports from Avondale Scout Reservation that some participants were experiencing possible respiratory illness. All of those impacted have received medical attention and two participants remain in medical care. Our thoughts are with those who became ill and we pray for their speedy recovery. We will continue to support them however we can,” said Gary Mertz, scout executive/CEO for Istrouma Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Histoplasmosis (also known as Darling’s disease) is a systemic fungal disease that can range in severity from symptom-free to minor self-limited to life threatening illnesses. Infection is quite common but clinical disease is not.
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