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Fungal Meningitis Pathogen Discovers New Appetite for Human Brain

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The primary culprit in the recent flare-up caused by tainted steroids, Exserohilum rostratum, is not an especially picky eater. Although the fungus prefers grasses, it will dine on many items—including humans

The nation's ongoing fungal meningitis outbreak has killed 30 and sickened 419 people so far, but the fungus responsible has never wrought such havoc before.

The fungus, Exserohilum rostratum, is a plant-eating generalist equipped with a spore-launching mechanism ideal for going airborne, is not an especially picky eater and, although it prefers grasses, will dine on many items—including humans.

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