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KCBS Animal Update: The Fungus Among Us

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A fungus is a type of organism that includes yeasts, molds and of course mushrooms. Dr. Jackson Scarlett with the San Francisco American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF ASPCA) said the condition veterinarians encounter the most is ringworm.

"It's a ring, not a worm that affects most mammals; puppies and kittens in particular, but also in children," she said.

Symptoms in animals with fur can include; patchy areas of hair loss that are kind of scaly, but it are not itchy like other rashes. In people you'll notice red raised lesions that look like worms.

The Fungus Among Us

It's very contagious from animals to animals as well as animals to humans.

Meanwhile, there's been a fungus that has been affecting the bat population recently. It's called White-Nose Syndrome and it's a fungus that literally grows on the noses of bats and was identified in 2006.

It's killed about six million bats to date, which is disturbing because bats play this silent, but important part of our ecosystem. Hopefully researchers find out more about the fungus and find a cure for it soon.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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