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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