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November 4, 1988

Cave-Associated Histoplasmosis: Trinidad

JAMA. 1988;260(17):2510. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410170058033

To the Editor. —  I was particularly interested in the report on "Cave-Associated Histoplasmosis—Costa Rica"1 because of a personal experience with this condition during World War II, prior to the recognition of histoplasmosis.In 1943, with a group of eight airmen, I was sent into the mountains of Trinidad to rescue a member of our squadron who had fallen into a 30-ft shaft about a half mile into a cave while exploring with a fellow. It was during the rainy season and we had a narrow "window" of time to get in and out, as the passages reportedly would flood. We found an 8-ft entrance that soon opened into a large cavern where the air was filled with disturbed bats and the screeching of sea hawks and the floor was deep in bat guano. We found our man deep in the cave with a fractured spine and other injuries