Blastomycosis is a rare illness caused by a fungus, Blastomyces dermatitidis, which may cause death.  It mainly affects the lungs and less often, the skin.

Blasto sporesThe fungus, B. dermatitidis, that causes Blastomycosis only growns and makes spores under specific conditions of humidity, temperature and nutrients.

The spores get in the air when they are disturbed. People become ill with blastomycosis by breathing in the spores of the fungus.

Blastomycosis is not usually thought to be an illness that you can get from another person or animal.

Can Blastomycosis be Prevented?

At this time, there is no way to know for sure where B. dermatitidis grows in nature.  Because of this, it cannot be controlled with success.

Blastomycosis Symptoms

Symptoms or signs may be different from one person to another.  Some people may never have symptoms.  Common symptoms are:

  • Acute lung infection
  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Cough that will not go away and contains thick sputum (mucus that is coughed up from the lungs)
  • Muscle aches or weakness
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath

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