Potentially deadly airborne strain of fungus spreading in US and Canada


Praxius
#1
Potentially deadly airborne strain of fungus spreading in US and Canada | News.com.au

Quote:

RESEARCHERS are warning of a potentially deadly strain of fungus that is spreading among animals and people in the northwestern United States and Canada.

The new strain of the airborne fungus - which is called cryptococcus gattii - appears to be unusually deadly, scientists say.

It had a mortality rate of about 25 percent among the 21 US cases that were analysed for a study.

Symptoms in people and animals may not appear until two weeks or more after exposure and include a cough that lasts for weeks, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, fever, night-time sweats and weight loss.

"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.

Researchers said cases had been largely restricted to Vancouver Island but then expanded into neighbouring mainland British Columbia and more recently into Washington and Oregon.

"Based on this historical trajectory of expansion, the outbreak may continue to expand into the neighbouring region of Northern California, and possibly further," the study says.

He added: "Overall it's a pretty low threat, and it's still uncommon in the area, but as the range of the organism expands and the number of cases increases accordingly, it's becoming more of a concern."

The study was published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens.

Heads up Westerners..... this isn't just some fungus between your toes, this is some nasty Kung Fu Fungus ready to kick'a'yo'ass.

Try and keep it over on your side of the country will ya?
 
karrie
#2
"It had a mortality rate of about 25 percent among the 21 US cases that were analysed for a study."

Keep in mind too though that many people probably got the fungus and shrugged it off as a mere cough or as allergies, and never ended up in the hospital, thus the statistics on it, at all. Which means that the mortality rate is probably much much lower for exposure.
 
Praxius
#3
That could be true... but also to count those who died from the illness in which doctors may not have checked for this being the cause but said they died from something else.

Still, 21 cases in the US alone sure isn't much to be concerned about I suppose.... for now.
 
karrie
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Praxius View Post

That could be true... but also to count those who died from the illness in which doctors may not have checked for this being the cause but said they died from something else.

Still, 21 cases in the US alone sure isn't much to be concerned about I suppose.... for now.

21 cases in 2 states, not the US as a whole. The fungus hasn't spread beyond those 2 yet. It could be a lot more once it spreads. I think that's high enough to be of concern, but, not high enough that people ought to panic and start wearing masks or anything.
 
EagleSmack
#5
The Stand
 
YukonJack
#6
EagleSmack, is that according to Stephen King?
 
Johnnny
#7
im sure it cant be any worse than the fungus growing beside the shower
 
DurkaDurka
#8
Hopefully it's not as deadly as the dreaded h1n1
 

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