Blastomycosis

General Information

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.

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 an untreated patient.

Blastomycosis fact, P-42030 (PDF)

Blastomycosis Fast Facts

Fast Facts

  • Blasto is an infection caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis.
  • The fungus lives in most soil and decaying wood and leaves.
  • Illness can occur two to 15 weeks after breathing in the fungal spores.
  • Symptoms can include cough, fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain, and chest pain.
  • The infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the skin or bones.
  • Blasto is not spread from person to person.
  • People who smoke, have lung disease, or have weakened immune systems are more likely to become sick.
  • Blasto is treatable with antifungal medications.
  • People who are sick and are concerned about Blasto should visit their doctor.

Learn more about Blasto at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Provider Information

This is a Wisconsin disease surveillance category II disease:

Wisconsin case reporting and public health follow-up guidelines
Clinical case management resources

Questions about Blastomycosis? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-267-9009

Last Revised: October 8, 2021