“killer” fungus threat overblown

A little study out last week used the words “hypervirulent” and “infection”together and created a frenzy.

The report looked at changes in a tropical fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, that is now showing up in the Pacific Northwest and has mutated into a more aggressive version. Infections cause symptoms mimicking pneumonia or meningitis.

The study’s author, a Duke University graduate student, found the new strains to be 100-percent fatal for his lab animals. That’s the scary part.

But human infections are rare, at least to date.

The take-home message is that folks shouldn’t change their lives around — you can’t really avoid the tiny spores anyway, and treatment is available. But medical professionals should be aware that this is out there. (Via Time).


Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash