Blastomycosis digital illustration

Blastomycosis Save

ICD-10 code: B40

Chapter: Certain infectious and parasitic diseases

Blastomycosis: A Rare Fungal Infection

Blastomycosis is a rare fungal infection caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. This fungus is commonly found in soil, particularly in areas with decomposing organic matter such as leaves and wood. Humans and animals can become infected by inhaling the spores of the fungus, which can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

  1. Symptoms: The symptoms of blastomycosis can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the individual's immune system. Common symptoms include fever, cough, chest pain, fatigue, and muscle aches. In severe cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause skin lesions, bone and joint pain, and even neurological problems.
  2. Diagnosis: A diagnosis of blastomycosis is typically made by performing a fungal culture, which involves collecting a sample of the infected tissue or fluid and growing it in a laboratory. Other tests, such as chest X-rays and blood tests, may also be used to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the infection.
  3. Treatment: Treatment for blastomycosis typically involves antifungal medication, such as itraconazole or fluconazole. The duration of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the individual's response to treatment. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary for more aggressive treatment.
  4. Prevention: The best way to prevent blastomycosis is to avoid exposure to the fungus. This can be done by wearing protective clothing and masks when working in areas where the fungus is present, such as wooded areas or construction sites. It is also important to maintain good hygiene, such as washing hands and cleaning wounds promptly.

Blastomycosis is a serious fungal infection that can cause significant health problems if left untreated. If you suspect you may be infected, it is important to seek medical attention right away. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most people are able to recover fully from blastomycosis.