Last of Us-style fungus ‘scourge’ fears as scientist warns of ‘perfect recipe’
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New species of fungi could endanger the survival of humanity in the future, with a Last of Us style pandemic not out of the question.
Fungi are among the most resilient organisms on earth, and are extremely resilient to their environment.
It is thought that climate change is causing an increase in global temperatures that could see fungi evolve more rapidly.
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The continuing advancement of modern medicine could also paradoxically make fungal infections worse and more resilient, leading to drugs becoming less effective, according to a medical professor, who says a Last of Us style plague is not impossible.
The smash video game turned HBO show sees zombies infected with a real parasitic fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which in the real world turns insects into zombie-like critters.
However, scientists say zombie-style pandemic is extremely unlikely.
Humans are unlikely to be affected by the parasitic fungus as it has had to evolve over millions of years to be able to 'take over' its host species.
Thankfully, humans have advanced immune systems and a body temperature too high for most killer fungi to survive.
However, global warming could see new forms of fungi evolve, potentially leading to more infections.
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Recent studies have found that virus' such as Covid can harm the body's ability to fight infections.
Medical professor Donald Vinh from McGill University in Montreal, speaking to Popular Mechanics, said : “Fungi are already adapting to warmer temperature and expanding their location, leading to more infections.
"Meanwhile, advances in medicine lead to more susceptible patients, and the antifungal drugs available are losing their efficacy.
"The combination of climate change, advances in medicine, and limited antifungals is the perfect recipe for a fungal scourge," he said.
It follows alarming news that a deadly black fungus spread rapidly during the pandemic.
Called Candida auris fungus, the killer organism has a 60% mortality rate if contracted.
Despite this, it has only been detected in around 1,500 people though this is a bug jump from 330 cases in 2018.
According to The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of the patients who contract the virus die within 90 days.
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