As if 10 percent unemployment, a trillion dollar two front war, and political and social divisions not seen in this country in half a century were not enough to keep you tossing and turning for a little while, scientists are reporting that there is an unstoppable killer fungus roaming around in the American northwest, and it seems to be spreading.
Cryptococcus gattii, a recently discovered hypervirulent strain of tree fungus, has been found in the northwestern United States, with exposure from the fungus responsible for 21 reported cases (with six cases resulting in death) in Oregon. The strain was first discovered in British Columbia, Canada in 1999.
"The alarming thing is that it's occurring in this region, it's affecting healthy people, and geographically it's been expanding," said study co-author Edmond Byrnes, a graduate student at the Joseph Heitman Lab at Duke University.
“This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people.”
“Typically, we more often see this fungal disease associated with transplant recipients and HIV-infected patients, but that is not what we are seeing yet,” said Byrnes.
And what's worse is that there is no way to stop it...
According to the British Columbia Centre of Disease Control "... there are no particular precautions that can be taken to avoid Cryptococcos gatti. You can, however, be alert for long lasting or severe symptoms and consult a physician for early diagnosis and treatment."
Symptoms for cryptococcal infection include:
Nagging cough typically lasting weeks, sharp chest pains, shortness of breath, meningitis-like headaches, fevers, nights sweats, and weigh loss; with these symptoms ultimately cumulating with death. Typically it takes about two to three months for these symptoms to begin to manifest.
There is no vaccine for the fungus, but patients can be treated with antifungal medications. But even treatment is not a sure thing. Some sufferers may have to be treated for years and even require surgery to remove masses of the fungus that grows within the body.Sooo... earthquakes, volcanoes, and killer fungus will bring about the untimely end of man's run of this planet... I would hate to think I am speaking for all of us but the end of the world is kind of a letdown so far... maybe demons slaughtering in streets run red with blood comes later on...