Go Back   Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association > Around the Camp Fire > Camp Fire Chat
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Camp Fire Chat Pull up a chair sit down and talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-22-2010, 08:06 PM
warrpath4x4 warrpath4x4 is offline
AMSOIL DEALER
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: 97838
Posts: 143
Default 1 in 4 infected in oregon dies

Deadly airborne fungus in Oregon set to spread


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36722426...ious_diseases/

The new, rare strain has killed 1 in 4 infected, researchers say


A deadly, airborne new strain of fungus has emerged in Oregon. It has killed nearly one out of four known affected people so far and might also attack animals ranging from dogs to dolphins. And it is likely to spread, researchers now warn.

The new strain known as VGIIc of the fungus Cryptococcus gattii not only targets humans but has also proven capable of infecting dogs, cats, alpacas, sheep and elk. Other strains have even infected porpoises.

Although it can spread to mammals, it does not jump from animal to animal. Instead, people and other animals get it from inhaling spores released by samples of the fungus that infect trees.
Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here

"It's in the environment, and we're exposed to the environment," researcher Edmond Byrnes III of Duke University Medical Center told LiveScience. "And the environmental range of this has been expanding."

Potential to spread
While scientists aren't sure how the highly infectious or virulent fungus emerged in Oregon, they caution the new strain now looks set to expand to California and other neighboring areas.

"This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people," Byrnes said. "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."

Symptoms can appear two or more months after exposure. Most people never develop symptoms, but those infected may have a cough lasting weeks, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, headache related to meningitis, fever, nighttime sweats and weight loss. In animals the symptoms are a runny nose, breathing problems, nervous system problems and raised bumps under the skin.

Treatment requires months to years of antifungal medications, and even surgery to remove the large masses of the fungus known as cryptococcomas that can develop in the body. So far it cannot be prevented, as there is no vaccine.

Origin unknown
The fungus C. gattii was originally linked with eucalyptus trees in tropical and subtropical climates. It first caused an outbreak in temperate climes on Vancouver Island in 1999 that has now spread into Washington and Oregon, where it infects local trees. This earlier strain, VGIIa/major, has killed nearly 9 percent of 218 patients.

After comparing the genes of the new VGIIc strain from Oregon with others, researchers suggest the new strain most likely arose recently, parallel to the outbreak that began on Vancouver Island. So far it has killed five out of 21 patients analyzed in the United States, a nearly 25 percent mortality rate. Lab studies with immune cells and with live mice revealed it is extremely virulent that is, it can cause severe disease.

Determining the exact origin of the VGIIc strain has proven difficult. Investigations so far have failed to find it in Oregon soil, water or trees. It may have arrived from abroad or originated locally, researchers said.

Because this fungus had been confined to the tropics until now, researcher Wenjun Li at Duke University speculated that environmental changes might be responsible for the evolution and emergence of these new strains.

"We are trying to put together the evolutionary story of where these types come from by closely studying the genetics of all samples possible," explained researcher Yonathan Lewit at Duke University Medical Center.

It remains uncertain why VGIIc and VGIIa/major are more virulent than other strains. One possibility, given how this fungus can reproduce sexually, new hypervirulent combinations of genes emerged due to sex. The researchers also noted that cell components known as mitochondria in these strains could adopt a distinctive tube shape. Since mitochondria help generate energy in cells, it is possible these strains are more energetic, "but that's just speculation right now," Byrnes said.

When it comes to a public response to outbreaks of these strains, "public health officials in that area have formed a working group with state epidemiologists from all those states in the Pacific Northwest," Byrnes noted. "It's important that public awareness expand on this."

The scientists detailed their findings online April 22 in the journal PLoS Pathogens.
__________________
AMSOIL DEALER

North East Oregon 4 Wheelers, PR officer

MEMBER OF: blue ribbon coalition, tread lightly,
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-23-2010, 09:13 AM
poorboy_616's Avatar
poorboy_616 poorboy_616 is offline
Class II web wheeler.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 160
Default

I saw this earlier.

I have severe Asthma, so I am keeping close tabs on how I am doing. I have had Pneumonia twice (which is what triggered the Asthma) so if I can avoid it again, I will.

Scary stuff though. Not something I would like to have again.....
__________________
1993 GMC Sonoma. Vortec 4.3, auto, 4x4. Only had it a couple weeks, don't know much else about it....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-23-2010, 10:53 AM
Art Waugh Art Waugh is offline
Cherokee Master
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lebanon,OR
Posts: 725
Default

Be interesting to see if the preference is the wetter west side or the drier east side. Oh well, keep the windows rolled up. Huffin and puffin with a backpack can't be good........
__________________
1981 Cherokee W/T, 360, T-18, Warn 8274 in custom bumper/deer strainer (tested and approved)

1988 Cherokee 4 door, 3" Rancho lift, custom sliders/steps, custom roof rack, custom camo paint, custom camo headliner, custom bumpers and Warn 9500 HS, 31-10.50's

Only 31's, but can drag self with either rig

BLM John Day/Snake RAC-OHV Representative

Wolfpack 4x4's - Region 5 - "Cave Lupum"

VP- Outcast Land Use Review Team

Last edited by Art Waugh; 04-23-2010 at 02:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.