IAS Gyan

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19th April, 2023 Science and Technology

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  • At least one person died and around a 100 were confirmed or suspected to be infected with a fungus of the genus Blastomycosis.

About Blastomycosis

  • Blastomycosis is an uncommon, but potentially serious fungal infection.
  • It primarily affects the lungs, and is caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis.
  • The signs and symptoms of illness that can result from exposure to this soil organism are variable.
  • Among the infected persons who develop symptoms, the symptoms vary from mild to severe and can be fatal.
  • A very serious progressive illness involving multiple organ systems can occur in an untreated patient.

Fast facts

  • Blasto is an infection caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis.
  • The fungus lives in moist soil and decaying wood and leaves.
  • Blastomycosis is endemic to the eastern United States and Canada, especially the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence River valley.
  • Illness can occur two to 15 weeks after breathing in the fungal spores.
  • Symptoms can include cough, fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain, and chest pain.
  • The infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the skin or bones.
  • Blasto is not spread from person to person.
  • People who smoke, have lung disease, or have weakened immune systems are more likely to become sick.
  • Blasto is treatable with antifungal medications.


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Q. Which of the following statements are correct in reference to Blastomycosis?

a)       Blastomycosis is endemic to the eastern United States and Canada.

b)      Blasto is not spread from person to person.

1.       Only a

2.       Only b

3.       Both a and b

4.       None of the above.

Correct Answer: Option 3