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Blastomycosis is an infection caused by a fungus called Blastomyces. The fungus lives in the environment, particularly in moist soil and in decomposing matter such as wood and leaves. Blastomyces mainly lives in areas of the United States and Canada surrounding the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Great Lakes. People can get blastomycosis after breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air. Although most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick, some of those who do may have flu-like symptoms, and the infection can sometimes become serious if it is not treated.

For other fungal topics, visit the fungal diseases homepage.