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Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

SPHAGNUM MOSS--DISEASE

Sporotrichosis (Sporo for short) is a fungal disease present in sphagnum moss, soil, on rose thorns, and decomposing organic matter. No known cases have been documented occuring with peat moss.

The fungus enters skin through cuts and scratches on fingers, arms or legs. Small pustules will develop on the skin. Pustules will swell and turn red. The disease can spread to the bones and other organs. Death can occur in extreme cases.

If symptoms occur, see a doctor. Treatment can include, but is not limited to, potassium iodine solutions orally. Severe symptoms can be treated with amphotericin B. Check with a licensed physican.

Possible problems can be prevented by wearing gloves and long sleeves when working with peat and sphagnum moss. Wash body parts thoroughly after working in the yard and garden.

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