An outbreak of blastomycosis, a rare fungal disease, has affected more than 90 workers at a paper mill in Escanaba, Michigan.
The disease is typically contracted by inhaling microscopic fungal spores from soil and decaying wood, but is not usually transferred from person to person.
Investigations into the outbreak are ongoing, involving local, state, and federal health and safety officials. Symptoms of the disease can mimic those of a cold or flu, but can become serious in people with weakened immune systems. Treatment is with anti-fungal medications, and can require courses of treatment lasting six months to a year.
The source of the outbreak has not yet been determined, but workers are being encouraged to wear masks and the plant is being deep-cleaned.
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