ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) — A contract worker at a northern Michigan paper mill has died from a fungal infection that has forced the business to temporarily close for deep cleaning. Public health officials in Delta and Menominee counties announced Friday that the worker died as a result of blastomycosis infection. The person’s name and a date of the death were not released. Company officials on Thursday said the Billerud Paper Mill in Escanaba will close for up to three weeks for scrubbing after authorities confirmed at least 21 cases of blastomycosis among workers since March and dozens more probable cases. Blastomycosis is related to a fungus that grows in moist soil and decomposing wood and leaves. The mill employs more than 800 people.
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