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The Histoplasmosis Caves Page

A list of caves known or suspected of having transmitted Histoplasmosis to cavers

Caving remains among the safest of the adventurous avocations.

The dangers, including the biohazards, need to be taught throughout the caving community. The medical profession needs instruction. However the dangers need to be kept in perspective.

The listing of these caves does not mean that they are inherently dangerous! It means that cavers visiting them should be aware of the potential danger and consider protective equipment and their own susceptibility to Histoplasmosis, and that of any caving companions. Anyone in the party who is unfamiliar with Histo or the potential to contract it in these caves should be informed before entering.

Histo Links




Direct link to our other Biohazards Pages


Lung Fungi: Histoplasmosis, Blastomycosis, Coccidiomycosis

Relapsing Fever

Send us your additions or comments about the above information. We want to be as complete and accurate as possible.

Histo Caves are divided into 3 totally arbitrary categories in this list:

  • Possibly Histo Contaminated - rumored cases

  • Probably Histo Contaminated - a few reported cases

  • Definitely Histo Contaminated - too many to have any doubts

We are perfectly willing to accept changes to the status of any of these caves.

Send the names of any other Histo Caves to me.

Caves Possibly Histo Contaminated

  • Bat Cave Cavern, Blowout, Bracken, Devil's Sinkhole and Frio - must all be considered infected until shown otherwise (Emmons 1966, Al-Doory and Rhodes 1968)

  • Kickapoo Cavern - Kinney County, Texas (Al-Doory and Rhodes, 1968)

  • Shelter Caves in Seminole Canyon State Park - Val Verde County, Texas. Respiratory problems after archeology work, not diagnosed as histo.

  • Sorcerers Cave - Terrell County, Texas (suspected?)

  • Walkup Cave - Hardeman Co. (?), Texas, summer 1997--6 cavers caught in bat flight, at least 4 of them developed severe flu-like symptoms 1-2 weeks later, histo not diagnosed.

Caves Probably Histo Contaminated

  • Beck's Ranch Cave - Brushy Creek area, Williamson County, Texas --Cavers from Houston got Histo--many trips to this cave with no other known cases.

  • Bracken Bat Cave - Comal County, Texas (McMurrey and Russell, 1982)

  • Cueva Consuela - just west of Candela, Coahuila.

  • Frio Bat Cave - Uvalde County, Texas (Emmons, 1966)

  • Miller's Cave - Llano County, Texas--one reported case, 1997.

  • Unnamed cave south of Mina - Nuevo Leon (sign out front warning of fungus death danger) nice cave with lots of dust.

Caves Definitely Histo Contaminated

  • Cueva de Carrizal - east of Candela, Coahuila in Nuevo Leon (used to be sign warning of contamination)

  • Cueva del Diablo - multi-entrances in cliff beside road in canyon between Sabinas Hidalgo and Villaldama, Nuevo Leon.

  • Emerald Sink - Val Verde County, Texas --Several cavers contracted Histo after visiting the cave during the 1994 NSS Convention.

  • Histoplasmosis Cave - Brewster County, Texas (Cochran

Histo Caves in Other Areas

  • Cueva de Agua Blanca - Tabasco or Grutas de Xtacumbilxunam - Yucatan - Troy Lanier got his case of histo in Dec. 1994 presumably from one of these two caves.

  • Nacimiento Del Rio Choy - Near Hotel Tanninul, east of Cd. Valles, San Luis Potos - large bat roost in a side passage should be avoid.