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Risk & Prevention

Who gets blastomycosis?

Anyone can get blastomycosis, even people who are otherwise healthy. However, people who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes may be at increased risk for the infection. Blastomyces dermatitidis, the fungus that causes blastomycosis, can be found throughout the world, but is most common in parts of North, Central, and South America. In the United States, the fungus is endemic (native and common) in the Southeast and the Midwest.

People who live in endemic areas and engage in activities that expose them to wooded areas may be at a higher risk for getting blastomycosis. This may include farmers, forestry workers, hunters, and campers.

How can I prevent blastomycosis?

There is no vaccine to prevent blastomycosis. In endemic regions, such as the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, it may not be possible to completely avoid being exposed to the fungus. However, people who have weakened immune systems may consider avoiding wooded areas where the fungus is prevalent.

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