There's more than the cold and flu to be concerned about this time of year in Michigan. A rare but deadly fungal infection has been spreading across the nation but is already detected in the Great Lakes State. The infection recently claimed the life of a Michigan man who passed away after battling the rare fungal disease.

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Rare But Deadly Fungal Disease In Michigan

According to WXYZ, Ian Pritchard, a 29-year-old chef from Michigan, spent nearly three months fighting the infection. The blastomycosis fungal infection had unfortunately ravaged his lungs beyond repair. Pritchard had developed blastomycosis from a local fungus.

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According to the CDC, blastomycosis is an infection caused by a fungus called Blastomyces. The fungus lives in moist soil and decaying wood and leaves. People can get blastomycosis after breathing in the fungal spores from the air. Most people who breathe in the spores do not get sick. But, some will develop flu-like symptoms like fever and cough, and the infection can sometimes become serious if it is not treated.

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The fungus mainly lives in the midwestern, south-central, and southeastern states but has caused concern because it has been showing up in uncommon areas across the country. Experts say climate change causes fungi like Blastomyces to spread outside areas where they usually live, which can lead to a rise in infections.

Symptoms Of This Rare Fungal Infection

According to the CDC, about 50% of people who breathe in Blastomyces spores will have symptoms. They can start as soon as three days after exposure or show up within three months of exposure. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Coughing (or coughing up blood)
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest or back pain
  • Muscle aches or joint pain
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Feeling tired
  • Skin sores

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