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July 21, 1978

Cutaneous Sporotrichosis in Forestry WorkersEpidemic Due to Contaminated Sphagnum Moss

JAMA. 1978;240(3):232-235. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290030050018

In December 1975 and January and February 1976, an epidemic of cutaneous sporotrichosis occurred in Mississippi among forestry workers and other persons exposed to sphagnum moss used in packing pine seedlings. Seventeen cases were identified, 15 of which were from patients who had been exposed to sphagnum moss from a single source. Attack rates were significantly higher among workers exposed to this moss than among those not exposed. Sporothrix schenckii was cultured from the implicated batch of sphagnum moss but not from other batches. The source of contamination of the sphagnum moss that caused this epidemic and sphagnum moss associated with similar epidemics is unknown. One worker without cutaneous sporotrichosis may have had asymptomatic pulmonary sporotrichosis.

(JAMA 240:232-235, 1978)