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Humans With Blastomycosis

Here are some stories about people who have Blastomycosis. Many more stories can be found on our message board: Blastomycosis - Humans


Heather's Dad

My name is Heather I just wanted to tell you that when I was 9, My dad got blastomycosis. We live in AR and none of the doctors could figure out just what he had. They took pictures sent him to a dermatologist and they ended up just taking pictures. My dad finally went to the VA hospital because my dad served in the military as a marine. One of the doctors there after a few weeks came up with blastomycosis as the diagnosis. My dad had big ulcer like sores all over his body and it had already entered his lungs. They quaranteened him and didn't let anyone see him for awhile. my dad lost over 100lbs and my mother was making funeral arrangments when they tried amphotericin B. This drug is very strong and blew out his veins in his hands so they had to make an incision near his throat and administer it through his subclavian veins. The drug alone may have more side effects then the disease. Blastomycosis is a fungus found in Central America in mold and rotting wood. My dad was my world and i really thought he was gone. I am not sure if the effects of all this will catch up with him i hope it's all over i am 26 now so some time has passed ...if you have any questions you can write me anytime..p.s. sorry about your dog...Heather

Chris's Story (Kentucky)

As a human that contracted blastomycosis and was misdiagnosed for three months, I know that this is a very dangerous disease. I was treated for a cold, then bronchitis, then the flu, then for bacterial pneumonia in the hospital until the lesions came out. A pulmunary doctor finally recognized the significance and did a bronchoscopy of my lung and found the initial infection along with eight biopsies of the lung and one on a lesion that confirmed Blastomycosis.

Blastomycosis lesionsThe funny thing is that my dog never contracted this disease and I do not know how I got infected as it comes from rotting wood or soil. I could understand if she got sick, then me, but I have no idea where I got infected, and I am not immuno suppressed other than being a paraplegic.

I have had 33 lesions on my left arm and around 27 on my right arm and that is just the arms as I have them eleswhere as well. This is a serious disease for all that can catch it and most people won't know they or their animal is infected as it takes 45 days for the infection to show up on X-rays as in my case.

I would like to share my ordeal as it is not very common for humans to contract this disease as only one in 100,000 contract Gilchrist's Disease. I have tried to get more information about the occurance of blastomycosis from state to state, but I still do not have that information yet as I have just started my research. I know that my family doctor had never had a case of blastomycosis before. It really isn't a disease that people know much about here in Kentucky, but my pulmonary doctor says he sees about 46 cases a year or so.

I am getting some better as none of the lesions have any pus oozing out and my cough is gone. The pulmonary doc didn't do a chest x-ray at my last appointment (last Friday) because the shrinkage of a mass as big as mine, which was baseball sized, is a very slow process and may not show much difference than the last x-ray I had. He did bring in his partner to look at my lesions and proceeded to say that he was very suprised to see someone with disseminated blastomycosis (spread to more than one organ) as I was act so healthy. He told me it was possibly close to invading my vital organs as the fungus had invaded my lungs, my skin, and the antibodies were prevelant in my urine, meaning that it could have been starting on my kidneys. It really brought the gravity of the whole situation to me and my wife (Dana). I don't know whether I was remotely close to death or anything, but the fact that he stated the situation in this way really grabbed my attention.

I am getting some better as none of the lesions have any pus oozing out and my cough is gone. The pulmonary doc didn't do a chest x-ray at my last appointment (last Friday) because the shrinkage of a mass as big as mine, which was baseball sized, is a very slow process and may not show much difference than the last x-ray I had. He did bring in his partner to look at my lesions and proceeded to say that he was very suprised to see someone with disseminated blastomycosis (spread to more than one organ) as I was act so healthy. He told me it was possibly close to invading my vital organs as the fungus had invaded my lungs, my skin, and the antibodies were prevelant in my urine, meaning that it could have been starting on my kidneys. It really brought the gravity of the whole situation to me and my wife (Dana). I don't know whether I was remotely close to death or anything, but the fact that he stated the situation in this way really grabbed my attention.

I am excited about getting the word out on blastomycosis as it certainly scared the crap out of me. As you can see from the pictures, I am pretty infected. Well over a month has passed since these pictures were taken, and I still have very visible lesions on my arms, however they are drying up and healing. I am sure that they will leave scars.

While treatment is ongoing, a relapse of symptoms during treatment is slightly possible, which can range from three to six months and even up to a year or more, humans would most likely have to be infected with the spore again to get Gilchrist's disease, especially those that are not immunosuppresed.

However scarring of lung, skin, or other tissue is another issue. My pulmonoligist is sure that I will make a full recovery, but it remains to be seen what kind of scarring will remain in my lung from the mass that still resides during my treatment. Once the mass is gone, an x-ray should show the amount of scarring caused by blastomycosis. If the scarring is bad enough, the lung will be more succeptible to bacterial pneumonia or other lung ailments. I am just glad that it did not get to any other organ because if the fungus progresses to the eyes, and causes blindness, there is no reversal of the damage caused.

I am only one month out from diagnosis (May 31, 2006) and already the drug regimen of 400 mg of Sporanox a day is showing signs that it is diminishing the fungus invading my body, although at a cost. The generic version of this medicine (Itraconazole) is around $900 a month, of course it may be more or less depending on your location. The cost for animals is less but still, not cheap. Sporanox can also be dangerous as it affects how the liver functions and a full liver function blood test must be administered prior to treatment and may be monitored during treatment. Also, there is the risk of drug interactions as the drugs may not be absorbed by the liver in the same way as before taking the drug.

I should make a full recovery from Gilchrist's disease, and will continue to make updates as the treatment continues. I am just thankful that the diagnosis was made in due time. I just hope that anyone reading this will be aware of what Blastomycosis is and what its symptoms are so that he or she can be informed in case of infection.




Surf