Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Immunology and Translational Research
Department of Infectious Diseases
College of Veterinary Medicine
Healthy people don’t get pneumocystis pneumonia.
But in the 1980s, the opportunistic fungus was killing seemingly healthy young men. First the fatigue would hit them. A constant cough. Then fever and chills. Finally, they'd begin having a hard time breathing. The disease was an unstoppable killer.
No one could figure out why.
“It caught the medical community off guard,” says Karen Norris, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Immunology and Translational Biomedicine. “It was what heralded the beginning of the HIV epidemic: They were getting pneumocystis pneumonia, or PCP, which was typically a very rare disease.”