Yesterday’s  Fox News  had a story about a “Minnesota man whose dog was killed by a rare fungus last year has been battling the same illness that killed his canine. Scott Donahue, of Park Rapids, was diagnosed with blastomycosis and has been on a ventilator three times, had a tracheotomy, and a feeding tube during a three-month hospital stay, according to Duluth News Tribune” “The fungal infection is considered uncommon by the CDC, with Wisconsin typically accounting for the highest incidence rate.”

According to the Center for Disease Control “The symptoms of blastomycosis are often similar to the symptoms of flu or other lung infections, and can include:Fever; Cough; Night sweats; Muscle aches or joint pain; Weight loss; Chest pain; Fatigue (extreme tiredness.”Who gets blastomycosis? Anyone can get blastomycosis if they’ve been in an area where Blastomyces lives in the environment. People who participate in outdoor activities that expose them to wooded areas (such as forestry work, hunting, and camping) in these areas may be at higher risk for getting blastomycosis. People who have weakened immune systems may be more likely to develop severe blastomycosis than people who are otherwise healthy.  Is blastomycosis contagious? No. Blastomycosis can’t spread between people or between people and animals. Can my pets get blastomycosis? Yes. Pets, particularly dogs, can get blastomycosis, but it is not contagious between animals and people.”

Several cases of blastomycosis have been confirmed around Lake Owen. Go ahead and enjoy the outdoors, but if you experience the above symptoms, see a doctor quickly.