A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

A fungus among us: Get the dirt on blastomycosis in Wisconsin

Headed into the garden? Maybe you’re camping this spring or doing some yard cleanup. Either way, you need to know about blastomycosis, commonly referred to as blasto.

This fungal infection, while rare in much of the U.S., is fairly common in northern Wisconsin, including much of the state covered by Marshfield Clinic Health System. And, it can cause serious illness if not treated appropriately.

Who’s at risk for blasto?

Anyone farming, camping, landscaping, hiking or doing anything that stirs up the soil is at risk. If you develop pneumonia and believe you were exposed to blastomycosis, let your doctor or an infectious disease specialist, know.

Blastomycosis symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Dry cough, sometimes with chest pain.
  • Lung infection (pneumonia) with fever.
  • Weight loss.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Joint pain.
  • Unusual skin sores.
  • Body aches.

Get the basics on blasto below in this handy graphic.

Blastomycosis infographic

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