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  • Cryptococcus gattii Information for Providers

    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. This infection is rare, but since 1999 it has emerged in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. In Washington state, there are 0 to nine cases identified each year. 

    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 or animal to person

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

    Report confirmed cases within 24 hours.

    Call our 24-hour reporting line (253) 649-1413 or use the Notifiable Condition Report Form. For more information, see our page.

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