State health officials say a rare type of fungal infection that already killed one teenager might be spreading in north central Wisconsin.
41 cases of the infection have been reported in Marathon and Lincoln counties in 2006 after 19 cases were reported in all of 2005.
The infection is caused by a fungus that grows in soil and can release spores. If inhaled by humans or pets, the spores can cause infections of the lungs or skin.
So far this year 21 cases of the infection were reported in Lincoln County and another 13 cases in Marathon County.
Officials say the increase in the number of cases might simply reflect increased awareness on the part of residents and health professionals.
Health officials say they're looking for a pattern in the geographical distribution of cases.