The Escanaba Mill has safely resumed full operations following a three-week idling to conduct deep cleaning recommended by public health authorities and experts. To date, no Blastomyces spores have been found within the mill. The health and safety of our employees and contractors remains our top priority, and as such, we continue to strongly encourage them to take precautions such as wearing fit-tested NIOSH-approved N95 masks provided by Billerud. We remain committed to working closely with and following the recommendations of local, state, and federal health experts as they continue to investigate this dynamic situation.
About Blastomycosis (Symptoms, Diagnosis & Testing, Treatment, Resources)
For information on blastomycosis, please refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
For current information regarding the NIOSH evaluation:
NIOSH Investigates Workplace Outbreak of Blastomycosis (cdc.gov)
For additional information:
NOTE: Those who experience signs and symptoms of blastomycosis should contact their healthcare provider and seek immediate medical care. As the CDC and other public health authorities recognize, blastomycosis is a treatable Illness that can be minimized when diagnosed and treated early. Please consult your doctor or healthcare professional with any questions about your own or your family members’ personal health.
Frequently Asked Questions
We first learned of the blastomycosis fungal infections on March 3rd from the Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties (PHDM), the local health department in Escanaba, Michigan, after PHDM was notified by the local hospital of several atypical pneumonia infections in individuals who work at the Escanaba Mill.
The cause of these occurrences of atypical pneumonia and/or blastomycosis is currently not known. We are taking this matter very seriously and cooperating fully with public health experts as they investigate this situation.
At this time no Blastomyces spores have been found in the company’s Escanaba Mill and the investigation continues in collaboration with health authorities and experts.
We still have not identified the source of the Blastomyces. At this time, no Blastomyces spores have been found in the Escanaba Mill and the investigation continues in collaboration with health authorities and experts.