A fungal disease that is spreading throughout Canada and Northwestern USA

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Colonies of Penicillium. Penicillium rarely cause fungal disease

Penicillium rarely cause fungal disease

A rare fungal disease, Cryptococcosis, has recently been shown to be quickly spreading throughout Canada and Northwestern USA.

Cryptococcus gattii, the fungus that causes the fungal disease, cryptococcosis is soilborne and is also associated with certain trees such as eucalyptus, pine or fir trees. It was previously only known in warmer climates throughout the tropics.

However, since 1999, outbreaks of highly infectious strains of the fungus have been reported in the cooler areas of Canada and Northwestern USA. These strains cause serious illness in otherwise healthy people and domestic and wild animals and prove fatal in some cases.

Symptoms of Fungal Diseases

Symptoms of fungal diseases depend on the type of fungal disease and location within the body. Some types of fungal diseases can be mild, such as a rash or a mild respiratory illness.  However, other fungal diseases such as Cryptococcosis can be severe. Also, fungal infections such as fungal pneumonia or bloodstream infection, and can lead to serious complications such as meningitis or death.

Transmission of Cryptococcus gattii

Cryptococcus gattii is transmitted to humans and other animals by inhaling spores of the fungus that are carried in the air. After infecting the lungs, cells of the fungus can travel through the bloodstream to infect other areas of the body, including the brain. The most common symptoms of this fungal disease are shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, fever, and headache.

If you would like to learn more, please contact us by phone or email.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/cryptococcosis-gattii/

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Dr Jackson Kung'u
Dr. Jackson Kung’u is a Microbiologist who has specialized in the field of mycology (the study of moulds and yeasts). He is a member of the Mycological Society of America. He graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, with a Masters degree in Fungal Technology and a PhD in Microbiology. He has published several research papers in international scientific journals. Jackson has analyzed thousands of mould samples from across Canada. He also regularly teaches a course on how to recognize mould, perform effective sampling and interpret laboratory results. Jackson provides how-to advice on mould and bacteria issues. Get more information about indoor mould and bacteria at www.drjacksonkungu.com.
Dr Jackson Kung'u

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