Locality: Woodbury, Minnesota
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: There are a couple of possibilities. We go boating often on the St. Croix River near Afton, MN. But we also went tubing down the Apple River near Somerset, WI. In addition we went on a couple of other trips which brought us to locations near the Mississippi River.
Symptoms: Severe back pain and flu like symptoms, Temps of 103+, severe night sweats, cold sweats during the day, fatigue, unable to sleep unless I was sitting up do to “something in my chest”, and just a general ill feeling. Going into my follow-up appt. for bacterial pneumonia, I was barley able to walk into the clinic (after which I was sent to the ER)
Treatment: Bronchoscopy with a bronchial washing. In the hospital for 13 days, in the ICU for 2 days & on a BiPap machine to assist with my breathing while they administered what I believe was the amphotericin B drug via IV and then I was switched to Itraconazole (Sporanox) at 20ml twice a day for 9 mo.
Cost of Treatment: Hospital and medical treatments were over $75,000, however I'm fortunate to have good insurance which covered a majority of the costs.
The Itraconazole (Sporanox)costs over $700 per month with insurance picking up the vast majority of that cost.
Additional Comments: I was fortunate that the Infectious Disease doctors were familiar with this disease and suspected it within an hour or 2 of being in the ER. My lungs were 75% or more full of the blasto (so they told me), and I'm guessing if things went along much more without treatment I would have been in bad shape. A credit to the ID doctors at Saint Paul Infectious Disease Associates!