MAY 25, 1997 – Bob Dylan was was admitted into a Los Angeles hospital with chest pains

MAY 25, 1997 – One day after his 56th birthday, Bob Dylan was was admitted into a Los Angeles hospital with chest pains. What was feared to be a heart attack turned out to be a case of histoplasmosis pericarditis, or an inflammation of the sac around the heart, a potentially fatal infection caused by the fungus (mold) Histoplasma capsulatum. 
Histoplasmosis is contracted by inhaling fungal spores found in bird or bat droppings, primarily in areas located near river valleys such as those in Indiana, Tennessee and Illinois. Dylan played shows on April 30th in Evansville, Indiana and May 2nd in Memphis, Tennessee.
According to Dr. Arnold Weinberg, medical director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, and a leading expert on infectious disease, Dylan’s case is a rare one. “He has a very unusual clinical problem,” says Weinberg. “Most people who inhale spores have flu symptoms or contract a respiratory infection, at most. Only about 5 percent suffer pericarditis. His doctors did a damn good job of diagnosing this,” Weinberg said. “Based on the information, his prognosis is good. I think he would have an excellent chance to perform by August.”
Dylan canceled a European tour and remained in the hospital until June 2nd. Treated by drugs and rest, Dylan recovered and only 10 weeks later resumed performing with a US tour. In an August 26th interview with Edna Gundersen, his first following the hospitalization, Dylan said: “I’m doing as good as I can under the circumstances. I’m still taking medication three times a day. Sometimes it makes me a little light-headed and dizzy. And I need to sleep a lot. I did get the doctor’s OK to do this tour. I guess I’ll make it through. I wanted to do these shows because I’d committed to it. I don’t have the energy I usually have, so I have to save it all to perform. Outside of that, I’m doing as well as I can.” Dylan later admitted: “I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.”

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