Blastomycosis is a respiratory infection caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. The fungus enters the body through inhalation of its spores and can remain dormant and behave asymptomatically. However, in immunocompromised individuals, blastomycosis can result in life-threatening pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fever. In severe cases, the infection may spread to other parts of the body, including the brain, bones, and joints.