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Cryptococcus gattii Information for Providers

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Overview

C. gattii is a fungus. It can infect human and animal lungs and nervous systems. Until 1999, it was found only in tropical and subtropical regions. The fungus has since spread. It is now endemic along the Pacific Coast. Over 170 cases have occurred in British Columbia, Canada. Fifty-two cases have occurred in Washington.

The incubation period is long and variable. It can range from 2 to 14 months. Symptoms cover a wide spectrum and are generally nonspecific. Up to 20% of cases result in fungal meningitis.

Inhaling C. gattii spores can cause infection. It does not spread from person to person.

Test patients with atypical pneumonia or fungal meningitis for C. gattii. Special diagnostic tools are required to tell C. gattii from other Cryptococcus strains.

Report confirmed cases within 24 hours.

Call (253) 798-6534 or use the Notifiable Conditions Fax Form. For more information, see our page.

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