Doctors are warning about a rare and serious infection called blastomycosis that is being too often missed by doctors and hospitals resulting in deadly consequences.
Blastomycosis is a rare infection that may develop when people breathe in a fungus called Blastomyces dermatitidis, which is found in wood and soil. It is most common in the central and southeastern United States.
The infection may affect the skin, bones and joints, and other areas of one’s body. Those who have compromised immune systems are at a greater risk and men seem to be affected by it more than women.
Symptoms may include:
- Bone pain
- Chest pain
- Cough (may produce brown or bloody mucus)
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Unintentional Weight Loss
Patients with minor skin sores and relatively mild lung infections usually recover completely. If the infection is not treated, it can become severe enough to cause death. Blastomycosis is often misdiagnosed as pneumonia or lung cancer.
Xrays, skin biopsy or tissue biopsy and urine culture help to diagnosis this often misdiagnosed and sometimes deadly infectious disease.