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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; 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 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 3/31/2015

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