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Escanaba paper plant back in operation

ESCANABA, MI— The Billerud paper mill in Escanaba has resumed operations.

The mill has been shut down since April 13 due to an outbreak of the fungal infection Blastomycosis. A total of 115 cases have been identified. Fourteen people were hospitalized and one person died.

Mill officials have worked with state and national health agencies to determine the cause of the infections. During the idle, officials performed a deep cleaning of the mill. They say to date, no Blastomyces spores have been found in the plant.

The mill officially resumed operations Monday.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is testing urine antigen samples collected from mill employees. Results from those and environmental samples taken from the plant have not yet been received.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.