Cryptococcus gattii is a fatal fungus killing people in western North America. Reports from British Columbia, Canada, and within the United States in Oregon, have already been confirmed by the Center For Disease Control. People and animals in both locations have fallen victim to this unique and deadly strain of fungus.
Cryptococcosis originates from the Cryptococcus neoformans, a species of fungus generally found in immuno-suppressed humans, including those living with HIV. Recently people with no significant immune system suppression have fallen victim to this disease spread by inhalation of the airborne fungi but is not transmitted from person to person contact. People suffering from cryptococcal infection have pneumonia like symptoms including: chest pains, shortness of breath, coughing, fever, and skin lesions. People who absorb the fungus develop symptons two to several months after exposure. Some people with compromised immune systems, develop cryptococcal meningoencephalitis, a central nervous system infection and develop fever, headaches, and mental imbalance/s.
This latest strain of crypotcoccus gattii has researchers and doctors throughout the United States particularly concerned because the fungus is threatening otherwise healthy humans.
The fungus had previously affected only people with weakened immune systems.