Fungus From Pacific Northwest Not So Dangerous – Part 1 of 3
Fungus From Pacific Northwest Not So Dangerous. The experimental “killer” fungus spreading through the is part reality but also part hype, experts say. “It’s categorically real in that we’ve been seeing this fungus in North America since 1999 and it’s causing a lot more meningitis than you would expect in the general population, but this is still a rare disease,” said Christina Hull, an aid professor of medical microbiology and immunology and of biomolecular chemistry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. Cryptococcus gattii, historically a resident of more tropical climates, was start discovered in North America on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in 1999 and has since made its way to Washington state and now, more recently, to Oregon.
So “It’s a strain that appears to have come from Australia at some facet and has adapted to living somewhere cooler than usual”. From the point of view of sheer numbers, the new C gattii hardly seems alarming. It infected 218 people on Vancouver Island, coup close to 9 percent of those infected.
In the United States, the death rate has been higher but, again, few people have been infected. “At its peak, we were seeing about 36 cases per million per year, so that is a very selfish number”. Michael Horseman, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville, puts the overall demise rate in the “upper single digits to the lower teens. It’s not quite what I’ve been reading in the newspapers”.