Apr 23

Killer fungus seen in Pacific Northwest (CNN)


Infections from a new strain are unpreventable-and the strain is spreading.

new-killer-airborne-fungus-cryptococcus-gattii
The new
Cryptococcus gattii fungus strain, magnified.

A new strain of hypervirulent, deadly fungus has been discovered in the United States, a new study says.

The outbreak has already killed six people in Oregon, and it will likely creep into northern California and possibly farther, experts say.

The new strain is of the species Cryptococcus gattii, an airborne fungus native to tropical and subtropical regions, including Papua New Guinea, Australia, and parts of South America. An older strain of the fungus was frst detected in North America in British Columbia, Canada, in 1999.

No one knows how the species got to North America or how the fungus can thrive in a temperate region, experts say. Continue reading »

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