Blastomycosis is a rare infection caused by breathing in (inhaling) a fungus called Blastomyces dermatitidis, which is found in wood and soil.
* Cough (may produce brown or bloody mucus) * Shortness of breath * Sweating * Fever * Fatigue * General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill-feeling (malaise) * Unintentional weight loss * Joint stiffness and joint pain * Muscle stiffness and pain * Rash * Skin lesions * Chest pain
Blastomycosis occurs in people living in the south-central and midwestern United States and Canada. The infection is seen in 1-2 out of every 100,000 people in areas where the fungus most frequently occurs. It is even less common outside those areas. Being around infected soil is the key risk factor. The disease usually affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV or organ transplant recipients. Men are more likely to be affected than women
Medicines may not be needed for a blastomycosis infection that remains in the lungs, unless it becomes severe. When the disease is severe, or when it spreads outside of the lungs, the following medicines (anti-fungals) may be prescribed: * Itraconazole * Fluconazole * Ketoconazole Amphotericin B may be used for severe infections. You should follow-up regularly with your doctor to make sure the infection doesn't return.