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Cases of fungal infections, unusual in this part of the country, have recently been reported in Vermont. When inhaled, this particular fungus can cause respiratory disease.

‘Severe’ cases of fungal infections have been reported near Massachusetts.

The fungus is found in wet soil and rotting trunks and is not normally seen in the northeastern part of the country, so the rate of interest here in Massachusetts.

Blastomycosis It is a fungal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitis. After inhalation of spores, it manifests as a lung infection, and can be asymptomatic or life-threatening, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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Most cases can be treated with antifungal medication; However, some lung infections can be serious and life-threatening if left untreated and worsen.

Symptoms of Blastomycosis

    • Coughing (or coughing up blood)
    • Fever
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest or back pain
    • Muscle pain or joint pain
    • Night sweats
    • Loss of appetite or weight loss
    • Feeling tired
    • Skin lesions

The symptoms take up to three months to appear, in some cases only in three days, sometimes no symptoms appear (asymptomatic).

The emergence of these fungal infections, or the presence of the fungus in regions where it was previously unknown, like Vermont, could be due to climate change. Anyone can get Blatomycosis, but you are naturally at greater risk if you work outdoors.

Blastomycosis is not contagious

Because the infection is caused by a fungus and not a virus, your body does not develop any infectious diseases with Blastomycosis.

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Gallery Credit: Stecker