Chief calls for government support amid outbreak of blastomycosis in Constance Lake

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A First Nation chief is calling on provincial and federal officials to provide supports as Constance Lake First Nation battles an outbreak of a lung infection.

Constance Lake First Nation has declared a state of emergency due to recent sudden deaths and illness of community members from probable cases of blastomycosis.

Blastomycosis is a lung infection typically caused by a fungus that grows in moist soil, leaves and rotting wood, and is spread when a person breathes in small particles of the fungus into their lungs.

The source of the fungus in the community is currently unknown.

In a news release, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Derek Fox says the nation is “very concerned” with the situation in Constance Lake and is prepared to “assist in any way possible.”

Fox adds that the First Nation is looking to its federal and provincial treaty partners to “support Constance Lake with the resources they require to address this crisis including access to health care, testing, and mental health supports.”

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

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