More About Cryptococcus gattii

When Mike became sick and wasn't getting a diagnosis from doctors, I went on-line and began researching his symptoms on medical sites. Because of where we live, his symptoms and the fact that Mike was such an outdoors person, my mother's instinct led me to searching for information on Cryptococcus gattii (C. gattii). I knew about C. gattii because of the media attention it received in 2002 when it was discovered in a park along the east coast of Vancouver Island. At age 26 and healthy, Mike did not fit 'the profile' of those considered at risk for this disease.

Finding local information on this disease was not as easy as it should have been. Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), now called Island Health, did not have it listed on their A-Z index. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) site did have information on Cryptococcus gattii listing some of the symptoms that Mike had. However, there wasn't any information saying that this disease could affect healthy individuals.

C. gattii information is now easy to locate and is kept up to date on the BCCDC site. The very important fact that Cryptococcus gattii affects both immunocompetent (healthy immune system) and people with compromised immune systems is stated on BCCDC as well as most other medical websites.

C. gattii is a reportable disease in British Columbia but not across Canada. There are individuals who have contracted this disease while visiting Vancouver Island but they are not included in the statistics. You can view the statistics up to and including 2016 by following links on the BCCDC site.

IF WE ONLY KNEW THEN WHAT WE KNOW TODAY.

WE MISS YOU SO MUCH MIKE AND WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.