Date: 11/1/20 2:12 pm
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Fernhill Goose Fungus
Hi -

I would like to respond Clean Water Service's description of Aspergillosis as " a non-contagious fungal infection, " and with the statement " For people with healthy immune systems, aspergillosis isn’t harmful and can’t be transmitted from animals to people." There may be more then one strain of Aspergilla fungus, but some at least can be quite dangerous to people, infecting the lungs and causing serious pneumonia and lung damage. Years ago two colleagues of mine contracted it while doing research in caves. One was a paleontologist who was infected while sifting small vertebrate fossils from soil (containing much bat guano) in a cave in Costa Rica. The other a mammalogy graduate student who was placing bobcat heads turned in by trappers in Texas inside Bracken Cave, which is a famous Mexican Free-tailed Bat cave. The floor of the cave swarms with dermestid beetles, and he and others from Texas A&M would place animal remains there for the beetles to clean the skeletons. Most years the cave was damp, and the floor was sticky, but he had the misfortune of being there in a drought year, and the air inside was very dusty. Ornithologists I have know took the precaution of wearing pollen masks when working in guano-rich seabird colonies. Ornithologist Dr. William Southern ended his multiyear research program on Ring-billed Gull colonies in the Great Lakes because of concern over Aspergillosis.

Aspergillosis is not as deadly as hantavirus, but the conditions for contracting it are similar: breathing in air contaminated by dust from dried animal feces, and direct contact with infected animals.


From: <rickmac1...>
To: "obol" <obol...>
Sent: Sunday, November 1, 2020 11:21:27 AM
Subject: [obol] Fernhill Goose Fungus

Hadn’t seen this on OBOL yet (sorry if it’s a repeat. I had noticed an unusually high number of dead cacklers last weekend. Also someone brought up on PDX WhatsApp:

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