Friday, May 28, 2010

Killer Airborne Fungus Alert

Posted by on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 4:13 PM

click to enlarge cryptococcusgatiispores.jpg

A "hypervirulent" new strain of fungus has been discovered in Oregon. It is unpreventable. It is airborne. It's killing people and animals. And it's headed here.

As much as this sounds like a setup to a cornball late-night sci-fi movie, this thing is (gulp) sci-fact. It's pants-wettingly real, folks. And according to a National Geographic story from earlier this month, this sucker is sticking around.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has identified 50 cases so far -- in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, according to the Earthfiles story linked above. Of those, 10 have proved fatal for a 20 percent mortality rate.

Before you get too freaked out, be sure to read the quote from Dr. Joseph Heitman wherein he assesses the danger as "uncommon or rare." On the other hand, he also says this fungal assassin can travel great distances on car tires. That's some Cape Fear shit.

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Speaking of Science, Public Safety

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About The Author

Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns

Bio:
Ryan Burns worked for the Journal from 2008 to 2013, covering a diverse mix of North Coast subjects, from education, politics and marijuana to human suspension, sex parties and amateur fight contests. He won awards for investigative reporting, feature stories and news coverage.

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