A potentially deadly strain of fungus is spreading among animals and people in the northwestern United States and here in British Columbia, report Reuters. “Cryptococcus gattii” usually only effects those with compromised immune systems, such as transplant and AIDS patients, however the newly-identified strain is different, according to researchers.

Findings presented in a new document indicate the fungus outbreak is continuing to spread throughout the temperate region of Western North America. The new strain appears to be unusually deadly, with a mortality rate of about 25 percent among the 21 U.S. cases analyzed, they said.

Climate change may be helping the disease to spread, say the researchers.

Read more about the report.

Increased health risk from fungus, diseases, and other plant-based hazards are being exacerbated by shifts in climate. Take a look at ACT’s report on climate change adaptation Biodiversity here.