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Blastomycosis

Blastomycosis Facts

  • Blastomycosis is a fungal infection.
  • Blastomycosis is caused by a dimorphic (has two forms) fungus termed Blastomyces dermatitidis.
  • Risk factors include immunocompromised patients and traveling or living in dense wooded areas.
  • Symptoms resemble the flu (fever, chills, cough, and discomfort or pain in the muscles, joints, and chest) but may become more severe and prolonged, and skin lesions may develop and other organ systems may be affected.
  • Seek medical care if you develop symptoms and have risk factors.
  • Blastomycosis is diagnosed by culturing the fungi from infected organ systems (biopsy samples).
  • Blastomycosis should be treated by medical caregivers not by self-care at home.
  • Medical treatment is done with long-term (six to 12 months) antifungal drugs.
  • Blastomycosis follow-up is very important to obtain the proper lengthy treatment and to check for reinfection by the fungus.
  • Blastomycosis prognosis is variable; most patients do well, but immunocompromised patients have a prognosis that can vary from good to poor.
  • Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against blastomycosis; avoidance of wooded areas where the fungi thrive is advised by the CDC.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/12/2013

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