Study: Aerosolized fungus killed cetaceans in Salish Sea

2021-10-22

Cryptococcus gattii, a pathogenic fungus, infected hundreds of animals and people in the Pacific Northwest in the early 2000s and killed at least 42 porpoises and dolphins in the Salish Sea, according to a study in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. C. gattii, which is native to tropical and subtropical forests, was probably introduced in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s, and researchers say the fungus was probably aerosolized and settled on the sea's surface when construction, deforestation and other activities disturbed the forests.

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