Real estate developers in New Jersey have had to resort to a variety of measures in order to stop the spread of a mysterious new fungus.
In a new study, a team of researchers from Princeton and Columbia Universities and the New York Public Library published a report about a fungus that they dubbed “toxin” in a bid to track down where it’s originating.
The team has been investigating the fungus since February of this year, when they discovered it in a small community near the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In order to get a handle on its origin, they first needed to find a suitable environment in which to test it.
“This was actually quite an unusual thing for us to have discovered in a community that we thought was relatively uninfected,” lead author Chris Fauci, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Pathology at Princeton, told NBC News.
“We had not seen anything like this before.”
According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there are currently no known cases of the fungus in New York state, but it’s possible that some people who live in the region may have come in contact with the fungus.
While the exact location of the community is unknown, the researchers have located it in the town of Chagrin Falls, which lies in the middle of the New Brunswick, New Jersey, border.
“It’s very likely that people who are in the area have come into contact with this,” Faucci said.
“It’s possible this was introduced from a farm or an animal farm or someone who ate or used an animal product from a plant in the community.”
While the researchers didn’t have enough information to definitively say that it was an imported strain of the fungal disease, Faucili said that he believes that it could be.
“I think the most likely scenario is that it is imported from China,” he said.
“[The fungus] is quite virulent, and I think it can spread very easily.”
He also pointed out that the fungus has yet to infect anyone who hasn’t already been infected.
“There are still some areas in the United States where the infection has not been observed, and that’s a reason we haven’t done a lot of testing in those areas,” he explained.
While the fungus is still at large, Fausci hopes that it will soon be eradicated from the region.
“We don’t have a good indication that this is a disease that is going to disappear, and it’s still a concern,” he added.
“The more we learn about this fungus, the more we have to be concerned,” he continued.
“This fungus has the potential to be very dangerous and potentially spread globally.
So, we need to keep an eye on it and keep an ear to the ground.”
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