“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).