Author Topic: CDC to help investigate Marathon County blasto outbreak  (Read 4312 times)

Offline Lisa

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CDC to help investigate Marathon County blasto outbreak
« on: June 04, 2010, 06:48:55 AM »
CDC to help investigate Marathon County blasto outbreak

Federal scientists will help Marathon County health officials investigate an outbreak of blastomycosis.

One to three scientists from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention will travel to Wisconsin in the next couple weeks to study why the fungus is still causing people to get sick.

The county health department reported 19 cases between January and the end of March. Thirteen more people have come down with the disease since then, said epidemiologist Ruth Marx. She said they are averaging about one case a week.

Marx said the blasto cases do not fit the normal profile. She said more women and younger people than usual have contracted the illness. Health officials have also noticed clusters of cases that are limited to different geographical areas.

Blasto outbreaks usually happen in the spring and fall and symptoms take about one to three months to develop. But Marx said some of the people who have blasto got it during the winter.

Blastomycosis, which is caused by the blastomyces fungus, causes respiratory problems like pneumonia and other lung conditions.

Symptoms include fever and dry cough which may lead to weight loss, chest pain and a persistent cough with thick spit. Other symptoms may include muscle aches, night sweats and shortness of breath.

The fungus grows in nature and is more frequently found in acidic, sandy soils; decaying wood and other vegetation, and by waterways with fluctuating water levels.

Offline paintubturner

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Re: CDC to help investigate Marathon County blasto outbreak
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 01:24:47 PM »
Thanks so much for this post.  My parents will be in Rhinelander Wisconsin-Oneida County- in two weeks so I called the health department there to see if they have seen a rise in Blasto.  I was told they havent but referred me to two local vet clinics.  The health department nurse informed me that Blasto is a reportable disease in humans but not in animals. I did find that Oneida County is in a hot spot area for Blasto and is on the top ten list for disease reportings.  Again, thank you for your post.   

Offline jefndebbacon

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Re: CDC to help investigate Marathon County blasto outbreak
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2010, 08:30:32 AM »
Thank you for the information.  With all of the rain we have had this year in Southern WI, I am wondering if there will be an increase in Blastomycosis in the coming fall.  I wonder how we can make this a reportable disease with animals?  My veterinarian told me that she gets about 3 or so cases per year,  but it varies from year to year.  We are in Waukesha County.  Thanks again for the info!