Blastomycosis is a fungus that grows in soil. It is endemic to the Sudbury region. There have been cases reported in the Key River area. Blastomycosis affects dogs as well as humans.
If you live in areas south of the Key, be sure to discuss Blastomycosis with your doctor if you experience these symptoms, as they may not be aware of your potential exposure.
About half of people exposed to the fungus will develop mild to severe illness. Symptoms can appear between 3 to 15 weeks after exposure.
Infection may result in a flu-like illness with fever, chills and cough. Some patients develop a serious lung infection. When blastomycosis spreads, it can affect many areas of the body, including the skin, bones and genitourinary tract (the reproductive organs and urinary system).
From the Spring 2005 KRAA Newsletter:
It is so hard to believe such a hateful sperm lives and thrives in our beautiful little corner but it is definitely here. This winter our dog Chester was tested positive for the disease. We were fortunate to have veterinarians be extremely suspicious and we were immediately referred to a wonderful emergency clinic in Toronto with Dr. Doug Mason – they were fantastic. A biopsy was taken from Chester’s back leg lymph glands the spore was there. He was hospitalized for 3 days. The dmg is extremely hard on their system and the veterinarians wanted him there in case oxygen or IV was required. Chester is now on the mend however he is now totally blind in his left eye, and he tires very quickly. His breathing is almost back to normal from his horrid stressed and laboured panting. As we all know this disease is extremely difficult to detect in our pets. In Chester’s case the cough wasn’t present nor did he have a high temperature. Chester’s eye was sore – that was it! We thought it was hurt when he was on a walk.
Anyway, we were extremely fortunate to have medical attention as quickly as we did. We have the clinic and veterinarian specialist to thank and we would highly recommend them to anyone.Maggie of Diamond Key Camp, 2005
Public Health Sudbury & Districts has a page about blastomycosis here