The number of blastomycosis cases linked to recreation at the Little Wolf River in Waupaca County near New London, WI has increased by two during the past week, bringing the total confirmed cases to 40, with an additional 37 probable cases being investigated.
The Wisconsin Division of Public Health advises the public who have visited the Little Wolf River since Memorial Day weekend of their risk of being exposed to the fungus.
You should see your health care provider if you develop symptoms including cough, fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain or chest pain, health officials advise.
Blastomycosis is an uncommon, but potentially serious fungal infection. It primarily affects the lungs, and is caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. The signs and symptoms of illness that can result from exposure to this soil organism are variable. Illness may develop 2-15 weeks after exposure to the fungus.
Approximately 50% of people who are infected with B. dermatitidis will not have symptoms. Among the infected persons who develop symptoms, the symptoms vary from mild to severe, and can be fatal. A very serious progressive illness involving multiple organ systems can occur in untreated patient.
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today