ESCANABA, Mich. (News release) -- The number of blastomycosis cases associated with the Billerud paper mill in Escanaba has risen by five.
Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties says the total number now stands at 109. Thirteen of those have been hospitalized and one person has died. All are either employees, contractors, or visitors to the mill.
The health department says even though cases have increased, it doesn't necessarily mean exposures are ongoing. The incubation period of the fungus is 21 to 90 days, so it's likely every case had an exposure before the mill was idled.
State and national health agencies continue to investigate the cause of the outbreak. The paper mill has been idled for extensive cleaning.