Demographic features of Aurora blastomycosis cases, 2007-2013


Department of Family Medicine, Center for Urban Population Health, Aurora UW Medical Group

Presentation Notes

Presented at 2014 Aurora Scientific Day, Milwaukee, WI


Background: Blastomycosis is a serious systemic fungal infection endemic to Wisconsin. It is contracted by inhalation of Blastomyces spores from the environment. Blastomycosis case incidence is considered less frequent along the state’s eastern lakeshore, compared to northern and central Wisconsin. Purpose: Determine the geographic distribution and demographic features of recent Aurora Health Care blastomycosis cases.

Methods: Records review of the 100 blastomycosis cases from the Aurora clinical and laboratory databases, 2007- 2013. Demographic and zip code data was compared with 211 adult cases of pneumonia from the Aurora clinical database during a similar time period. Two-sample t-test was used to compare ages, and chi-square test with Yates correction for 2 × 2 tables.

Results: There were 100 blastomycosis cases from 72 different service-area zip codes (97 confirmed, 3 suspected; average of 14/year; age range: 2-84). The 96 adults with blastomycosis were significantly younger than those with pneumonia (48 vs. 55 years, P=0.002) and were more likely to be male (67% vs. 45%, P=0.0007) and nonwhite race (21% vs. 9.5%, P=0.01). Blastomycosis cases occurred throughout eastern Wisconsin and appeared to be overrepresented in the three Manitowoc/ Three Rivers zip codes. Employment status was known for 84 and included a variety of occupations as well as retirement/ unemployment (37 of 84). Outdoor occupations were listed in 10 of 84 subjects with recorded employment status.

Conclusion: While infrequent, patients with blastomycosis present to Aurora clinicians from a variety of locations and diverse demographic backgrounds.

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