Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rare fungal disease migrates to Oregon, Washington

Oregon A rare fungal disease that has killed 19 in Canada has migrated to Oregon and Washington, where it is linked to five deaths since 2004. The pathogenic fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, lives in Northwest trees, such as Douglas fir, as well as soil and water. An outbreak began in 1999 on Vancouver Island and eventually spread to mainland British Columbia, where it has sickened about 200 people. A study published this week plots the progress of the fungus into the United States.

"It's definitely an emerging pathogen in both the number of cases in the Pacific Northwest and the range it's expanding in," said Edmond Byrnes, a graduate student at Duke University Medical Center and lead author of the Journal of Infectious Diseases paper. There's no need to start wearing face masks while hiking in the woods, public health officials say, but they are nonetheless concerned about the spread of a tropical pathogen in the temperate region.

Byrnes' study documents 14 cases in humans and eight in animals -- including porpoises, alpacas, cats and dogs -- between 2006 and 2008 in Oregon and Washington. Many people will be exposed to the fungus during their lifetime, but few will actually get sick, said Dr. Paul Cieslak, manager of the Oregon Public Health Division's communicable disease program. In British Columbia, a province that is home to 4.4 million people, about 25 people fall ill and one dies from the infection each year, according to the province's Centre for Disease Control….

A totally unrelated fungus, Inonotus hispidus, growing on apple tree. Shot by Björn Appel (Warden), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog. Thank you for information. we guarantee all customers and users total satisfaction or your money back vigrx plus -

Anonymous said...

They are becoming the enhancement option of choice for many men for several reasons. vimax pills is the best penis enlargement pills on the market today. -