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Mycosis outbreak is passed from cats to humans in Brazil

Mycosis outbreak is passed from cats to humans in Brazil

A little known disease has been spreading throughout the country. Sporotrichosis is a mycosis caused by a naturally occurring fungus in the soil, Sporothrix. The cat is the biggest victim of the problem, which causes serious damage to the skin and can be fatal if not treated correctly.

Through scratches, infected animals transmit the fungus to other cats, dogs and also their owners. Signs of human contamination appear as bruises on the skin, which start with a small red lump and may develop into a wound.

In animals, the main symptoms of contamination are frequent sneezing and sneezing, especially on the head. The lesions are deep, do not heal, have pus and spread to the rest of the body.

The infection has a cure, but the treatment is expensive and time-consuming, so at the first signs of the disease, it is necessary to seek a doctor immediately. There is still no vaccine or any sporotrichosis preventive medicine. In order to avoid contamination, it is ideal to avoid contact with moist soil where the fungus can be found.

In 2013, the disease became mandatory due to the hyperendemic status of sporotrichosis in the state of Rio de Janeiro. According to data from the Sanitary Surveillance of the city of Rio de Janeiro, according to data from the INI / Fiocruz, a reference unit in Rio de Janeiro, more than 5 thousand human cases and 4 thousand feline cases were diagnosed in 2015. According to data from the Sanitary Surveillance of Rio de Janeiro, in 2015 there were 3,253 feline cases. There were a total of 13,536 visits to public veterinary institutes, home or community health care, and a 400% increase in the number of animals diagnosed the following year.

The Municipal Health Secretariat registered 580 human cases in 2016. By 2015, registry was 516 patients with skin infection and 327 cases in 2014. These statistics refer only to reported cases.

Veterinarian Isabella Dib Gremião, Laboratory of Clinical Research in Dermatozoonoses in Domestic Animals of the National Institute of Infectology Evandro Chagas of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (INI / Fiocruz), is the first author of a paper that has just been published in the journal PLOS Pathogens on the transmission of sporotrichosis between cats and humans.

The researchers state that human sporotrichosis is not a compulsory notification disease and, therefore, its exact prevalence is unknown. In addition, it is not yet known how the fungus started to infect cats, so far sporotrichosis was considered a very sporadic disease.

To combat cases, the government needs to create new forms of diagnosis, increase access to the medicine and, also, carry out educative campaigns on the responsible guard of the animal.

With information of the agency Fapesp.


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