Risks of blastomycosis

Learn about the risks of blastomycosis and who is most at risk.

On this page

What are the risks of getting blastomycosis?

Your risk is highest if you often visit places where the fungus that causes blastomycosis grows. The fungus grows in thickly wooded areas and along streams and rivers, where there is:

  • moist soil and leaves
  • rotting plants and wood

The fungus that causes blastomycosis is common in soil:

  • near the:
    • Great Lakes
    • St. Lawrence Seaway
    • lakes in the Canadian shield
  • in northern New York State
  • in areas of Canada, including:
    • Ontario
    • Quebec
    • Manitoba
    • Saskatchewan

Blastomycosis is regularly found in the Midwestern, Southeastern and South Central U.S. along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

The disease is more common in North America but has also been reported in:

  • India
  • Israel
  • Africa
  • Siberia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • central Europe
  • the United Kingdom

Who is most at risk?

You have a higher risk of getting blastomycosis if you:

  • are an adult male
  • have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes
  • live or do activities in wooded areas where the fungus is common
    • this may include:
      • hunters
      • farmers
      • campers
      • forestry workers

What are the risks of complications?

People with a weakened immune system (inability to fight disease easily) have a higher risk of complications. They are more likely to experience:

  • severe breathing problems
  • a spread of the disease from the lungs to other parts of the body

Page details

Date modified: