Emerging Northwest fungal disease develops virulent Oregon strain

Uncommon but sometimes fatal infections of the lung or brain can show up months after someone inhales spores

6:09pm, April 22, 2010

A potentially lethal fungus is showing up in Oregon in a rare but highly virulent form. The fungus appears to be genetically distinct from similar strains that have been cropping up around the Pacific Northwest for more than a decade.

Cryptococcus gattii has been slowly spreading since at least 1999 across the Pacific Northwest, where it has caused more than 200 severe brain and lung infections and killed 24 people.

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