Cases of a rare fungal infection to this part of the country have recorded recently in Vermont. This particular fungus, that when inhaled, can cause respiratory illness.

Getty Images
Getty Images

'Serious' Fungal Infection Cases Seen Near Massachusetts

The fungus is found in wet soil and decaying logs and is not normally seen in the Northeast part of the country, hence the interest level here in Massachusetts.

Blastomycosis is a fungal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis. It presents as a pulmonary infection after the inhalation of spores, and it may be either asymptomatic or have severe life-threatening complications like acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Boston Hospital Site of Actor Anthony Quinn''s Death
Getty Images

Most cases are treatable via anti-fungal medicine; however some can be very serious and life threatening if infection in the lungs goes untreated and worsens.

Symptoms of Blastomycosis

    • Coughing (or coughing up blood)
    • Fever
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest or back pain
    • Muscle aches or joint pain
    • Night sweats
    • Loss of appetite or weight loss
    • Feeling tired
    • Skin sores

Symptoms make take up to three months to appear, in some cases in just three days, sometimes no symptoms at all will appear (asymptomatic).

The occurrences of these fungal infections or presence of the fungi in regions not previously seen, like in Vermont, are likely due to the changing climate. Anyone can get blastomycosis, but if you work outside you are naturally more at risk to it.

Blastomycosis is not contagious

Since the infection is caused by a fungus and not a virus, your body does not emit any contagions with blastomycosis.

LOOK: Baby names losing popularity in the 21st century

Stacker took a look at the names losing popularity in the 21st century, using data from the Social Security Administration.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From WBEC FM