A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

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

Spring, summer, fall … if you’re heading into the garden, camping, fishing, hunting or doing yard cleanup you need to know about blasto.

Blasto, also known as blastomycosis, is a fungal infection. While rare in much of the U.S., it’s 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 who farms, camps, landscapes, hikes or does anything that stirs up the soil is at risk. If you develop pneumonia and think you were exposed to blasto, 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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