Quake sickness

Published: Saturday 31 May 1997

Dust and fungal spores thrown up during earthquakes can cause respiratory infections, say researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, US. Three years after a quake in the north of Los Angeles, people have been suffering from respiratory problems. Researchers found that inhaling airborne spores of the fungus Coccidiodis immitis , which grows on the top soil of California's Ventura County, causes a respiratory problem called coccidiodomycosis. At least 29 people in that area were suffering from the disease in the weeks following the quake.

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