Deadly fungus spreading in California

April 23, 2010

A currently untreatable strain of fungus has claimed the lives of at least 23 people in California and the Pacific Northwest, researchers said Friday. [KTVU]

Known as Cryptococcus Gattii, the new strain of fungus is spread by the wind. It can live in the soil and also appears partial to Douglas Fir and Eucalyptus trees.

Cryptococcus Gattii usually only infects people with otherwise compromised immune systems, but the new strain is genetically different and appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people, researchers said.

The new strain seems to be unusually deadly with a mortality rate of about 25 percent. [Reuters] There are currently 200 people in the Pacific Northwest and California who are known to be infected.

The fungus has also turned up in cats, dogs and sheep.

Symptoms can appear as early as two weeks after exposure or take months to manifest. They include a cough that lasts for weeks, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, fever, nighttime sweats and weight loss.

Worse still, the fungus can cross into the brain causing thinking abnormalities.

Currently, there is nothing people can do to protect themselves, researchers said.


7 Comments

  1. R.Hodin says:

    MMS is purported to be able to clear the body of various types of fungus and yeasts.

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  2. willie says:

    With all the stress, process foods, lifestyle (lack of exercise/ resporatory).
    Everybody has potentials for heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and memory problems.
    Al of this starts or breaks out when our immune system goes down!
    Otherwise the body can handy any disease in the universe so long as our immune system is good!
    Take care.

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    • willie says:

      In 1972 a Native American Indian taught me that as a general rule mushrooms grown on trees are usually save to eat. Apparently it is no longer true.
      In the mid 1990 I read a book about Native American Medicine man who claims he can no longer heal the sick because the herbs in the mountain were no longer the same or unavailable because of pollution and the sicknesses of people has gotten too complex even if the herbs were attainable.
      If there is any validity to this metaphor then mankind may slowly be destroying him/herself.

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  3. NoCoSkeptic says:

    “Worse still, the fungus can cross into the brain causing thinking abnormalities.”

    Obviously, it has attacked WDC as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    WOW! This is a bit disturbing. Hopefully the powers that be can get a handle on this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Cindy says:

      I too find this a bit disturbing and did a little research on it. It started on the Island of Vancouver in Canada over 12 years ago. It has now spread through Oregon and into N Cal. They have made no progress on treating it and have been keeping this problem quiet, as only approx 36 known cases exist. They also recognize that the illness isn’t always accurately diagnosed and can pass as pneumonia without an autopsy. CNN , MSNBC and a few other major media outlets, for some reason took the article down a few hours after they reported it! Very disturbing indeed.

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