Blastomycosis in Vermont
A CDC study published in February suggests that blastomycosis, a potentially fatal fungal disease, is more common in parts of the United States than previously thought. People acquire blastomycosis by breathing in spores of Blastomyces, which grows in moist soil and decomposing matter. Symptoms include cough, fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and fatigue. Blastomycosis is not a nationally notifiable disease, and only five states—Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin—mandate reporting of cases.
In the study, CDC researchers used insurance claims data and vital records to estimate the burden of blastomycosis in Vermont. Information from the study appears below.
From “Using Insurance Claims Data to Estimate Blastomycosis Incidence, Vermont, USA, 2011–2020”: Although differences in surveillance methods and case definitions among states make direct comparisons difficult, Vermont’s burden of blastomycosis appears comparable to, and perhaps higher than, most states that have published blastomycosis incidences.
CDC: Emerging Infectious Diseases, “Using Insurance Claims Data to Estimate Blastomycosis Incidence, Vermont, USA, 2011–2020” (February 2024). RELATED NBC News: “A Rare Fungal Infection Is Popping Up in an Unexpected Part of the U.S.” (January 2024). The Synergist: “Blastomycosis Outbreak in Michigan” (June/July 2023).
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