Surprising Spread of Blastomycosis: A Fungal Infection's Unexpected Presence in Vermont

Blastomycosis dermatitidis in women


esearchers discovered that blastomycosis, a rare fungal infection primarily associated with the northern Midwest and parts of the Southeast.

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In a recent study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, researchers discovered that Blastomyces Dermatitidis, a rare fungal infection primarily associated with the northern Midwest and parts of the Southeast, is more prevalent in unexpected regions across the United States, including Vermont.
Note- Blastomyces dermatitidis and Blastomycosis dermatitidis is a same term dont confuse.

Causing Factors of Blastomyces Dermatitidis:

Blastomycosis, caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis, thrives in wet soil, decaying logs, and leaves. Typically considered an “endemic mycosis,” this fungal disease was traditionally known to occur in specific geographic areas, such as those surrounding the Great Lakes, the Ohio River valley, and the Mississippi River valley. However, a recent study challenges these geographical expectations, revealing instances of blastomycosis in Vermont.

Dr. Arturo Casadevall, chair of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, commented on the surprising findings, stating, “Vermont is not generally an area you think of when you talk about blastomycosis.” This unexpected occurrence raises questions about the changing epidemiology of fungal diseases across the country.

Dr. Brian Borah, the medical director for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Surveillance at the Chicago Department of Public Health, led the study and expressed uncertainty about whether the detected cases were previously unknown or indicative of an actual increase in incidents. Borah highlighted the evolving epidemiology of fungal diseases nationwide, suggesting that blastomycosis might not be immune to these changing patterns.

Diagnose Of Blastomyces Dermatitidis:

One significant hurdle in addressing blastomycosis is its status as an “unreportable” fungal disease. Unlike some other illnesses, public health departments don’t mandate reporting cases of blastomycosis to the state. Only five states—Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin—currently have public health surveillance for blastomycosis, leaving the prevalence of the disease outside these states largely unknown.

Blastomycosis dermatitidis Image

 Blastomycosis is challenging to diagnose, often resembling other respiratory infections. The longer it goes undiagnosed, the more difficult it becomes to treat. Symptoms include respiratory issues, fever, and body aches, with more severe cases potentially leading to serious illness or death.

Medical Advancement in Blastomycosis:

To understand the extent of blastomycosis in Vermont, Borah’s team turned to health insurance claims from 2011 through 2020. Analyzing data from Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurance recipients, they identified 114 cases during the 10 years, with 30% requiring hospitalization. Astonishingly, Vermont had higher rates of blastomycosis than all but one of the states with surveillance for the disease.

The study suggests that blastomycosis may be gaining new ground, challenging previous assumptions about its geographic distribution. Dr. Bruce Klein, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pointed out various factors contributing to the unexpected spread, including travel, soil disturbance, and environmental changes.

As researchers delve deeper into the dynamics of blastomycosis, this study underscores the importance of vigilance and awareness within the medical community, as well as the need for continued research to better understand the factors influencing the prevalence and spread of this rare fungal infection.

Blastomycosis Symptoms and Sign

-Remember, Always consult with healthcare professionals or Doctors for personalised advice related to medical conditions.


The recent study on blastomycosis, a rare fungal infection, challenges conventional geographic expectations by revealing its unexpected presence in Vermont. Caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis, the fungus responsible for blastomycosis thrives in wet soil and decaying organic matter. This revelation prompts a reevaluation of the disease’s epidemiology, suggesting it may be more widespread than previously thought.

Dr. Brian Borah’s research, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, uncovered higher rates of blastomycosis in Vermont than in several states known for its occurrence. The study’s methodology involved analyzing health insurance claims and shedding light on the challenges posed by blastomycosis, including difficulties in diagnosis and the absence of mandatory reporting in many states.

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Rahul Priydarss
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