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Cryptococcus gattii

Cryptococcus gattii

Cryptococcus gattii is a fungus closely related to C. neoformans that infects the pulmonary and central nervous systems of animals and humans through inhalation of the organism. Symptoms vary depending on the organs affected, but may include prolonged cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, night sweats, and loss of appetite. Asymptomatic infections can also occur.

Until recently, C. gattii was only found in certain subtropical and tropical environments. In 1999, it emerged on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and since then has been detected in other areas of the Pacific Northwest by both environmental sampling and reporting of human cases. The exact geographic distribution of the fungus is not known, and may be expanding.

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