Frequently Asked Questions:

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection.

Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Its symptoms vary greatly, but the disease primarily affects the lungs. Occasionally, other organs are affected. This form of the disease is called disseminated histoplasmosis, and it can be fatal if untreated.

Can anyone get histoplasmosis?
Yes. Positive histoplasmin skin tests occur in as many as 80% of the people living in areas where H. capsulatum is common, such as the eastern and central United States. Infants, young children, and older persons, in particular those with chronic lung disease are at increased risk for severe disease. Disseminated disease is more frequently seen in people with cancer or AIDS.

How is someone infected with H. capsulatum?
H. capsulatum grows in soil and material contaminated with bat or bird droppings, including pigeons. Spores become airborne when contaminated soil is disturbed. Breathing the spores causes infection. The disease is not transmitted from an infected person to someone else.

What is Baylisascaris?
Baylisascaris is the scientific name of a type of intestinal roundworm that can infect a variety of carnivorous (meat-eating) animals. Baylisascaris procyonis is the name of the species found commonly in raccoons. When infective eggs of the roundworm are ingested by humans and other animals, Baylisascaris larvae hatch in the intestine and travel through the organs and muscles; this is called larva migrans syndrome. Infection rarely causes symptoms in raccoons. For more information: please visit

What is Biomedical waste?

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