It's time to start thinking about preparing the yard and garden for the return of fall and winter. Manager of infectious disease for the Northwestern Health Unit, Donna Stanley, reminds the public to be cautious of blastomycosis.
"We actually tend to see more of it into the late fall and early winter. It takes weeks, to months, for symptoms to arise," she explained.
In areas where the disease is common, it is not always possible to avoid exposure to the fungus that causes blastomycosis. This is because it is found in the soil and rotten wood near lakes and rivers. Stanley added it's not hard to contract blastomycosis.
"People can be exposed whenever there is exposed dirt and dust and things like that," she explained.
Symptoms are flu like, and can include fever and body aches. However, not everyone who is exposed will get sick.
People who have weakened immune systems should avoid wooded areas where the fungus is widespread.