First Nation confirms 12 cases of blastomycosis, more than 100 under investigation

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Published December 8, 2021 at 9:48 am

A First Nation in northern Ontario has confirmed 12 cases of a lung infection typically caused by fungus and says more than 100 cases are under investigation.

Constance Lake First Nation Chief Ramona Sutherland shared the latest figures about the blastomycosis outbreak in a virtual update Tuesday evening. 

Sutherland said there are 12 people who are confirmed to have the lung infection and there are nine people in hospital with probable cases.

Another 119 people are under investigation for the infection, which Sutherland clarified means that they have symptoms of blastomycosis, such as a cough, fever, chills, fatigue and/or difficulty breathing. 

She encouraged people to continue to get checked out at the hospital in Hearst, Ont., if they are experiencing any symptoms. 

Constance Lake First Nation, a community of over 900 residents, declared a state of emergency on Nov. 22 after probable cases of blastomycosis and three deaths came to light.

Blastomycosis is typically caused by a fungus that grows in moist soil, leaves and rotting wood.

Sutherland said the search for the source of the infection is ongoing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021. 

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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