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Testing is recommended for symptomatic persons or pets only. If you or your pet are experiencing symptoms, contact a healthcare provider or veterinarian immediately.
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You can contract Blastomycosis when the soil is disturbed, and you breathe in the fungal spores. Approximately 50% of people who inhale the spores either don’t become ill or develop a mild, self-resolving respiratory illness.
You can reduce your risk of exposure by limiting activities that may disrupt the soil and vegetative matter in the area mentioned on St. Croix County’s Blastomycosis page. Higher risk scenarios for spread occur when the soil is near a water source and has been disturbed, when soil is moved by gardening, camping, hunting, hiking, riding all-terrain vehicles, clearing brush, or excavation and construction projects. You may consider avoiding high-risk activities in wooded areas or at the water’s edge, particularly if you have a compromised immune system. For pets, avoiding activities such as sniffing or digging in the soil at the water’s edge, landscaped area, or wooded terrain could help prevent infection.
There are diagnostic tests and treatments available for both humans and pets. If you or your pet are experiencing symptoms, contact a healthcare provider or veterinarian immediately.
No environmental testing is available to identify the Blastomyces species. If you or your pet are experiencing symptoms, contact a healthcare provider or veterinarian immediately.
Blastomycosis is treated with anti-fungal medications. The course of treatment can range from 6 months to a year depending on the severity of the infection and the person’s immune status. Local healthcare facilities and veterinary clinics will be notified of the presence of Blastomycosis in the area mentioned on St. Croix County's Blastomycosis page. If you or your pet are experiencing symptoms, contact a healthcare provider or veterinarian immediately.
Throughout the course of the investigation, there were 4 people and 5 dogs diagnosed with blastomycosis. Blastomycosis infections are rare, finding a small cluster like this is rarer still. With 1 to 5 reported cases annually, St. Croix County is not considered an area with hyperendemic transmission.
Early in 2022, St. Croix County Public Health began working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate cases of blastomycosis in people and dogs in an area adjacent to the Willow River near Boardman, Wisconsin. The investigation ended in late 2022. Although this investigation has closed, outreach and education about blastomycosis is ongoing.
Early in the response notifications were sent to local physicians and veterinarians to inform them of blastomycosis infections in the area and the symptoms to look for. Information about the investigation and fact sheets on blastomycosis were sent to residents in the area of the investigation. Additionally a web page was created on the St. Croix County website with more information and resources on Blastomycosis.
Public Health continues to share to information about blastomycosis. Due to the nature of their work, Public Health is currently communicating with contractors and construction workers in the area about blastomycosis, the symptoms, and how to protect themselves.