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Skip to comments.Killer fungus spreading in US, Canada
Posted on 04/23/2010 3:22:28 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
WASHINGTON: A potentially deadly strain of fungus is spreading among animals and people in the northwestern US and the Canadian province of British Columbia, researchers reported on Thursday.
The airborne fungus, called Cryptococcus gattii, usually only infects transplant and AIDS patients, but the new strain is genetically different, the researchers said.
This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people, said Edmond Byrnes of Duke University in North Carolina, who led the study.
The findings presented here document that the outbreak of C gattii in Western North America is continuing to expand throughout this temperate region, the researchers said in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens.
Our findings suggest further expansion into neighboring regions is likely to occur and aim to increase disease awareness in the region.
The new strain appears to be unusually deadly, with a mortality rate of about 25% among the 21 US cases analyzed, they said. From 1999 through 2003, the cases were largely restricted to Vancouver Island, the report reads. Between 2003 and 2006, the outbreak expanded into neighboring mainland British Columbia and then into Washington and Oregon from 2005 to 2009. Based on this historical trajectory of expansion, the outbreak may continue to expand into the neighboring region of Northern California, and possibly further.
The spore-forming fungus can cause symptoms in people and animals two weeks or more after exposure. They include a cough that lasts for weeks, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, fever, nighttime sweats and weight loss. It has also turned up in cats, dogs, an alpaca and a sheep.
Freezing can kill the fungus and climate change may be helping it spread, the researchers said. Bob Lewis of Portland, Oregon, was a hearty outdoors type yachtsman, fly fisherman, swimmer when he got infected. In the spring of 2007, I felt I had something wrong with my chest, Lewis said. I went to the doctor and they took X-rays and thought it was bronchitis.
Months passed and his infection got worse. Finally Lewis ended up at Oregon Health Sciences University, where infectious disease specialist Sarah West diagnosed him as one of Oregon's first cases of Cryptococcus gattii. A course of antibiotics didnt faze the fungus. Doctors eventually they found expensive antibiotics that killed the fungus. But ever since, Bob Lewis has had to trail an oxygen tank, and his health has never been the same.
The highest incidences of C. gattii infections occur in Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. Cases have also been reported in other regions, indicating their spread to India, Brazil, Vancouver Island in Canada, Washington State, and Oregon in the United States.
Gotta make sure you push that global warming in every story.
It’s been here for ten years and so far five people have died from it .... more here:http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63L66H20100422
Almost sounds like a fun thing, this novel fungus.
Warning: google-image search "fungus" at your own risk.
How much is this causing up north?
Yeah, it's called Socialism!
Dang,,,, sounds like an emergency/////// better come up with a couple hundred million doses of anti-fungal stuff,,,, CDC will be right on this just like last time.
Oh, Gus the gardener’s gone now.
And you went with him too.
The fungus here reminds me of
the fun Gus is having with you.
-Benny Hill (Garden of Love)
Following Swine Flu employment act?
Benny was a jewel!
Even by wild “warmers” accounts the difference is half to 1 degree in temperature. Even you subtract that from existing temperatures you wonât get much of a freezing...
lol. Doom mongers in need of new copy...
End times alert
Those blasted dhem trails!
the fungus among us
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