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Deadly Fungus Spreading in U.S., Canada

Deadly Fungus Spreading in U.S., Canada

Friday, April 23, 2010 8:59 AM

A potentially deadly strain of fungus is spreading among animals and people in the northwestern United States and the Canadian province of British Columbia, researchers reported on Thursday.

The airborne fungus, called Cryptococcus gattii, usually only infects transplant and AIDS patients and people with otherwise compromised immune systems, but the new strain is genetically different, the researchers said.

"This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people," said Edmond Byrnes of Duke University in North Carolina, who led the study.

"The findings presented here document that the outbreak of C. gattii in Western North America is continuing to expand throughout this temperate region," the researchers said in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens. Click here.

"Our findings suggest further expansion into neighboring regions is likely to occur, and we aim to increase disease awareness in the region."

The new strain appears to be unusually deadly, with a mortality rate of about 25 percent among the 21 U.S. cases analyzed, they said.

"From 1999 through 2003, the cases were largely restricted to Vancouver Island," the report reads.

"Between 2003 and 2006, the outbreak expanded into neighboring mainland British Columbia, and then into Washington and Oregon from 2005 to 2009. Based on this historical trajectory of expansion, the outbreak may continue to expand into the neighboring region of Northern California, and possibly further."

The spore-forming fungus can cause symptoms in people and animals two weeks or more after exposure. They include a cough that lasts for weeks, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, fever, nighttime sweats, and weight loss.

It has also turned up in cats, dogs, an alpaca, and a sheep.

Freezing can kill the fungus and warmer weather may be helping it spread, the researchers said.

© 2010 Reuters. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
22 Responses
Avatar universal
Better close the borders and ground air traffic! Now!
908392 tn?1316526499
Wow always something to fear and to keep people in panic mode. :(
535822 tn?1443980380
I gather you guys are making jokes so it cant be very dangerous LOl  
1281527 tn?1272915125
What this article did not mention was that they have tracked the vectors back to mainland China (the world's leading chemical/biological warfare specialists) and that this fungus is "more than likely" an "engineered" fungus that dramatically increases it's mortality rate.

This is an absolutely TERRIFYING scenario, because as our economy melts down, when China calls in their loans to us, and we default, the loans were secured by using very large portions of American soil as collateral.  When (not if) that happens China will move in either NATO or Chinese military troops to enforce their "property rights" and defend them, as they kow American citizen's aren't going to sit by and let our land be simply taken.

Right now, the government, in collusion with the Federal Reserve bank (which is, contrary to popular belief a PRIVATE corporation, not a Government agency) is devaluating the dollar by printing obscenely large amounts of "fiat" currency.  The economic effects of this devaluation is not felt by the actual citizens for approximately 8-10 months.

What better way to get ready to defend what China will legally assume is theirs, than by killing off 25% of the common folk, prior to sending in troops, while over 85% of our nations military is scattered all around the world?

Marg, when people are faced with impending horror, it is always easier to joke about it than it is to deal with the terror.  I personally don't expect to live through all this as my body appears to be finally shutting down, and I am glad of that.  I'd make a joke too, but since I have been researching this for about six-months, I can't find anything actually funny about it.  That's not to criticize those who are able to at all, for I KNOW that "gallows humor" is a great defense against uncertainty, impending events and being able to accept the good and the bad with a laugh.

Check with the Center for Disease Control, (CDC) and you will find a 25% mortality rate in otherwise healthy people is nearly unheard of!  It IS dangerous. Very dangerous. However, IMHO, we should get all the love, the laughter and the friendship we can, while we can.

I believe I've already been exposed to this once, (I had ALL of the above symptoms) it took me from 248 pounds down to 185 in the six weeks I was deathly ill, and as of yesterday I am starting to get the same symptoms all over again.  I'll let you know if I die...lol.

Avatar universal
This is a very very scary scenario indeed but did not attach it in my mind to the bonds China has. I heard (dont remember where) that China is selling those off here and there, do you know anything about that?

I am not surprised by this and we should expect more of the same. Times are getting very scary indeed. The scenario you present makes too much sense to me.

I have not read your profile so what do you mean when you say your body is shutting down? What is your matter if you dont mind me asking?
377493 tn?1356505749
I am a bit confused here.  You are saying the Chinese planted this fungus in 1993 on Vancouver Island (in Canada) in the hopes of killing off US citizens 17 years later, knowing the US would be in debt to them?  I am not mocking you here, just trying to understand how this could be.  Or am I missing something?
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