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.
- 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
I have 2 dogs with Blastomycosis right now. My female, 1 1/2 yrs old, was very lethargic, no appetite, her snout swelled up, a lymph node swelled on her face and she limped. The first month I had Covid so I thought she was being sympathetic. After I was cleared I took her to the vet. Her lungs were full and she tested positive for a tic disease called anaplasmosis. The vet started treating her with medication for pneumonia the tic disease. The next month she was tested for the Blasto due to not getting better. She tested positive. My 3 yrs old pup is A symptomatic. but still tested positive for the Blasto after my other dog tested positive. They are both on the med Fluconazole. I was told this will take 6 months to a year. Regular blood test to check the kidneys from the high dose and length of the medication with blasto urine test ever 3 months. They contracted Blastomycosis in Shawano County Wisconsin. I believe from the Embarrass River that buts up to our land.
Sue B, very glad to hear your dog recovered. We have a recreational property in Marathon County on Lake DuBay just south of Knowlton. We lost our previous dog to Blasto in Spring of 2019 and have now been informed that our new 1-yr old dog which we rescued in February of 2020 has tested positive as well. Of course, both dogs loved to roam the property, jump in the lake, etc. Is there any advice for property owners with respect to dog activities?
Are there any precautions that people can take if they do a lot of work outside? (A friend of mine got blasto a while ago, developed ARDS, and nearly died.)