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Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)

 
Susie
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04/23/2010 07:06 PM
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Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Infections from a new strain are unpreventable—and the strain is spreading.

A new strain of hypervirulent, deadly Cryptococcus gattii 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.

"The alarming thing is that it's occurring in this region, it's affecting healthy people, and geographically it's been expanding," said study co-author Edmond Byrnes, a graduate student at the Joseph Heitman Lab at Duke University.

Less common than bacterial and viral infections, fungal diseases usually strike people with weakened immune systems—part of what makes the recent deaths of otherwise healthy people in Oregon so worrisome.

People can become infected with Cryptococcus gattii by inhaling the microscopic organisms—and there's not much you can do about it.

There's no vaccination or other preventative measure available for the new strain, though the infection can be treated with antibiotics, the study says. And "there are no particular precautions that can be taken to avoid Cryptococcosis," according to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. "You can, however, be alert for long lasting or severe symptoms and consult a physician (or veterinarian for animals) for early diagnosis and treatment."

Appearing several months after exposure to the fungus, the infection causes a bad cough and shortness of breath, among other symptoms.

On a positive note, fungal infections, unlike viruses, can't be passed from person to person.

The first U.S. Cryptococcus gattii cases were identified in 2005. It wasn't until the new study, though, that genetic analysis revealed that the fungus is a new strain that had originated in Oregon.

Of the 21 known cases involving the new strain, 6 have been fatal—about 25 percent. The new strain has so far been deadlier than the strain in British Columbia, which killed 19 out of 218 known victims, or 8.7 percent.

The organism has also attacked domestic and wild animals, according to the study, published April 22 in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Though the reason for the new strain's severity is unknown, "one thing fungi do that bacteria don't is they have sex with each other," Byrnes noted. (Related: "Rainmaking Bacteria Ride Clouds to 'Colonize' Earth?")

As with humans, nearly every fungus offspring represents a new combination of genes and their resulting traits. So it's possible that the new fast-spreading superfungi is the result of Cryptococcus gattii mating. (Learn more about human diseases.)

No matter how it arose, the tropical interloper looks like "it's going to stick around," Byrnes said, "at least for the foreseeable future."

[link to news.nationalgeographic.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 795136
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04/23/2010 07:11 PM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Cryptococcus gattii causes the human diseases of pulmonary cryptococcosis (lung infection), basal meningitis, and cerebral cryptococcomas. Occasionally, the fungus is associated with skin, soft tissue, lymph node, bone, and joint infections. In recent years, it has appeared in British Columbia, Canada..


April 2010 had spread to Oregon....


The most recently identified strain, designated VGIIc, is particularly virulent, having killed 5 of 21 identified human cases
VAAMPYREBAT
User ID: 951269
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04/23/2010 07:34 PM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Hmmmm.... Big fat wasps. Are they really orange too?


Anyhoo, this is a pdf so if you are interested take a look, I won't hyperlink it though.

BAM & MYCO POSTER PRESENTATION SCHEDULE - UntitledFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
BPL7-From Metabolism to Metabolic Networks (VAAM Session) ...... Integration of research on mycotoxins and mycotoxigenic fungi at global ...... Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii environmental colonization ...
www.iums2008.org/bam_myco%20poster.pdf -
White Dragon

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04/23/2010 07:38 PM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
I have been infected what should I do next? hmm
Anonymous Coward
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04/23/2010 07:43 PM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Prepare to die, or, take massive amounts of antibiotics.
White Dragon

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04/23/2010 07:45 PM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
I'm going to try and fight off death by smoking copious amounts of cannabis. rastabanan
Anonymous Coward
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04/24/2010 12:47 AM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Interestingly, this appears to be race specific.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 951158
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04/24/2010 12:54 AM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
another fungatard finds glp
weegie

User ID: 948772
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04/24/2010 11:01 PM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Interestingly, this appears to be race specific.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 775483

I just skimmed the OP...don't see that info. Explain your comment to us, please.
natasha77

User ID: 952310
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04/24/2010 11:08 PM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Next they'll say it kills only Mexicans! :ohmy22:
SPEAK UP. SILENCE IS DEADLY!

I am currently experiencing life at several WTFs per hour.
Anonymous Coward
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04/25/2010 02:35 AM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Nice! They couldn't fool us with the swine flu false flag, so they thought they'd try something new..... *Yawn...
Anonymous Coward
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04/25/2010 02:36 AM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
Next they'll say it kills only Mexicans! :ohmy22:
 Quoting: natasha77


Hush now, or you'll jinx it.
Anonymous Coward
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04/25/2010 02:46 AM
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Re: Deadly Cryptococcus Gattii Fungus Found in U.S (Spreading Fast)
I've kept track of news reports since a deadly mutated superfungus caused the Mir space station to be abandoned to crash in May 2001. But the fungus had become a problem long before that.

The article cites 1999 as when it appeared first, which is when the UG99 wheat fungus began also.

When molds collide they either combine or one wins.

A new mutated "chytrid fungus" is killing off frog populations and bats and bees. All sorts of crops have fungal problems now.

The seas are dying, rotting, turning to domoic acid, oxygen depleted, "become as the blood of a dead man" (Rev 16) from red tide stinking slime.

I've no doubt, it's doom, and the fault of govs purposely mutating super bio weapons in the radiation of space. Nature gives no waivers for criminal negligence or stupidity. Buh bye! Get yer afterlife insurance here! JJD
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GLP