Well, it can't be too awful easy to contract. I've been handling LFS for more than 35 years, even, sometimes, with many small cuts on my hands and arms. I haven't been infected yet. But I've always been mindful of any symptoms that might indicate the beginnings of an infection.
Excerpt from the Journal of Veterinary Medicine Assoc.
Results of a study of sporotrichosis in humans indicate that forestry workers accounted for 17%, gardeners and florists for 10%, and other occupations associated with soil (such as farmers) for 16% of all infections with S schenckii. Human infections with S schenckii have occurred primarily after handling plant material; in 1983, for example, 12 cases of cutaneous sporotrichosis were reported among hay-mulching workers in Oklahoma and New Mexico.3 The most extensive outbreak of horticulture-related sporotrichosis occurred in 1988, in which 84 workers acquired cutaneous sporotrichosis after handling conifer seedlings that were packed in Pennsylvania with sphagnum moss that had been harvested in Wisconsin.4,5 In that outbreak, people in 15 states were affected, including forestry workers, garden-club members, and nursery workers. Sphagnum moss was also identified by investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the source of sporotrichosis in 10 horticultural workers in a Disney World topiary.6
I have been aware of this for years and tiptoe around the LFS and media in my collection. What I really want to know is how likely a person is to actually contract this fungal infection. How many of you know someone that has been afflicted by this? -and, how severely are they impacted? I have experience handling radioactive contaminants and poopy diapers. So I'm basically applying these principles. I don't want to seem insensitive to those with the infection, but I don't want to continue to interact with my collection like it's in a glove bag. There is something unnatural about it. I have been trying to limit the types of LFS I grow, but its getting difficult as I just keep getting more varieties as I aquire more plants from different growers. Ultimately, I am of the belief that there are many other chronic afflictions that I am more likely to suffer from. So I'm not sure if the threat of Sporotrichosis, is sufficiently prevalent, that it should continue to keep me from handling my carnivourous plants like any of the others in my care. I'm looking for empitical feedback from those in the community.
I can't think of anyone that's been directly affected. The closest to a first hand account that I can think of comes from Barry Rice's page: The Carnivorous Plant FAQ: What is Silicosis or Sporotrichosis?
I don't take special precautions when working with media, and I generally have some type of abrasion on my hand because of my hobbies/activities.
Edit: I see that's already been linked earlier. Oh well. haha
Yea, I had read the earlier posts and visited the link . I was wondering if it was becoming more prevalent, or kind of an urban legend of a handful of instances that we keep recycling. I was really interested in hearing an update from this decade. So I very much appreciate the response.