Infectious fungal disease that starts in the lungs. Occasionally it spreads through the bloodstream to other body parts, especially the skin. It is not contagious. Symptoms may include cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, chills, fever and drenching sweats. Usually occurs in the southeastern states and the Mississippi River Valley in the U.S. Fungus can cause severe, debilitating illness that may be fatal without treatment. With intensive treatment, it is usually curable in several weeks.