Blastomycosis – Symtpoms, Tests, Treatment

Blastomycosis is a very rare infection. The development of it can be seen when people breathe in a fungus named as Blastomyces dermatitidis. This is usually found in the soil and wood.

There are many causes of blastomycosis. When the Blastomyces dermatitidis particles are inhaled, one can get this disease. This fungus is usually found in the moist soil. Most particularly it is found in areas where there is rotting vegetation. The entrance of the fungus in the body is through the lungs and infection is caused. Then there is a spread of fungus to other parts of the body. The joints, bones and skin may be affected by the infection.

Blastomycosis is very rare. However, it is very common in the south eastern and central United States, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Israel and India.

The most common risk factor is being around the infected soils. People who have had an organ transplant or HIV are also affected. This disease affects men more than that of women.

There are various symptoms of this disease.

However, there are no symptoms of lung infection. As the infection spreads, symptoms are noticed. These include:

  • Chest pain
  • Bone pain
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Uneasiness, ill feeling or general discomfort
  • Joint pain
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unintentional weight loss

The exams and tests include:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Chest CT scan
  • Skin biopsy
  • Sputum culture and examination
  • Urine culture
  • Tissue biopsy

The treatment may include medications that are needed for blastomycosis infection. This infection is present in the lungs and becomes very severe. As the severity of disease increases, the infection spreads outside the lungs. Sometimes, the doctor may also prescribe anti-fungals.