When reports first came out about the “deadly fungus” the newspapers were flooded with articles pertaining to Cryptococcus gatti. Nowadays, the newspapers only occasionally report on the “forgotten fungus”.
On June 6, 2002 the B.C. Centre for Disease Control issued a health advisory, including possible symptoms of the disease, as to the emergence of Cryptococcus on
Cryptococcal disease is caused by the inhalation of the air borne fungal spores that can be carried via wind many kilometers from the source. The disease cannot be transferred human to human or from animal to human and vice versa, it is not contagious. Once in the lungs, Cryptococcus gatti can cause pneumonia, meningitis, lung nodules, and can affect the central nervous system. The incubation period is anywhere from 2 to 9 months and initial symptoms can include headaches, night sweats, fever, prolonged cough, and weight loss in humans and runny noses, coughs, lumps under the skin, changes in personality, blindness, and seizures in animals. Cryptococcal disease can be diagnosed in humans and animals by using an antigen test and if detected early enough, can be treated with antifungal medication.
There is no vaccine for Cryptococcus and no recommended precautionary measures to avoid the disease. Nor are there any fungicides or chemicals to apply to the trees for protection. However, knowing the symptoms and alerting your doctor or veterinarian is helpful in early diagnosis and treatment. It is reported that even in central
Although Cryptococcus gatti is responsible for what has been considered the world’s largest outbreak of Cryptococcal disease ever identified, it has failed to capture the attention of the media. Even in central