Skip to content


Cryptococcosis is caused by a fungus that lives in environments all over the world. Some types of fungus live in dirt and trees and others can be found in rotting wood, tree hollows or bird poop.


How can I get sick? 

  • Breathing the tiny fungus particles (tiny piece of matter) in the air.  

Symptoms in humans:  

Cryptococcosis usually infects the lungs and the central nervous system*. However, it can also affect other parts of the body. Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is affected.  

In the lungs: Pneumonia* like illness. 

  • Cough 
  • Hard to breathe 
  • Chest pain 
  • Fever (when your body gets a little hotter than normal) 

In the brain (cryptococcal meningitis): 

  • Headache 
  • Fever (when your body gets a little hotter than normal) 

  • Neck pain 
  • Feeling like you need to throw up 
  • Throwing up 
  • Sensitivity to light  
  • Confusion  
  • Changes in behavior 

What can I do to stay healthy?  

It’s hard to avoid the fungus because it is found everywhere in the environment. Since most people never get sick it is not a big risk. However, people who are already sick with another illness, such as those with HIV/AIDS, had an organ transplant, or are taking medications that weaken the immune system*, should ask their doctor what they can do to stay healthy. 


  • Central Nervous System: Consist of the brain and the spinal cord.
  • Immune System: Your immune system protects your body from diseases.
  • Pneumonia: An infection of the lungs, which can cause difficulty breathing.

Species Affected

Learn About Other Diseases

Click below to learn more about the many different diseases that can spread between animals and humans.