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The terrifying zombie fungal disease that wiped out most of humanity in HBO’s hit adaptation last of us Inspired by a real group of fungi that pose no threat to humans, but experts warn that fungal infections are already a major health threat that kills millions of people globally and will be an even bigger problem in the future. ready to be.

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Fungal infections affect more than a billion people worldwide and claim nearly 1.5 million lives every year as tuberculosis and more than double Malaria, H.I.V. And Breast Cancer—but are relatively unknown by the public and neglected by health officials, the media, and funding agencies.

The disconnect likely stems from the fact that most people experience superficial fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, thrush and jock itch and “conclude that the worse the fungus is, without knowing about the rarer and more serious diseases, Justin Bardsley, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Sydney, told forbes,

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Even the most devastating fungal diseases do not spread from person to person and usually attack people who are already very ill, such as cancer patients, critically ill COVID patients or those with compromised immune systems. People, Professor of Microbiology Neil Gow explained at the MRC Medical Mycology Center At the University of Exeter, “meaning they” are often referred to as the disease of the diseased.

When invasive fungal infections take hold, they can be difficult to detect, difficult to treat—sometimes with surgery to remove the infection—and the death rate can be staggering, at best. About 10% to 25% of cases and more than 80% are the worst cases, said Gau, who stressed that it is important to remember that many of these people may have already been very ill.

There is no licensed vaccine to prevent fungal infections and emerging resistance threatens to render obsolete some of the antifungal drugs we have to treat serious infections—there are essentially only four groups of drugs available, Beardsley said. .

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While it is relatively rare for fungi to cause life-threatening disease in healthy people, they are a major source of disease—and death—in other organisms. Fungi are the most common cause of disease in plants and cause a Serious Threat To global food security, All types of crops are susceptible. The future of the Cavendish banana – the world's most commonly eaten banana that dominates global trade – lies in risk from the resurgence of a deadly fungal disease, the likes of which decimated the banana trade and a better Export variety to extinction in the 1960s. A deadly skin-eating fungal disease caused by the chytrid fungus is driving a mass extinction event among amphibians. is fungus flowing through amphibians around the world with disturbing speed and annihilated 90 species in the last 50 years. There is also a fungal disease, white-nose syndrome. Horrible have wiped out vast areas of North American bats and regional populations.

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The human body temperature is too high for most fungi to thrive, providing us with an extra layer of protection against potential fungal invaders. Climate change could pose a threat, warned Arturo Casadevall, a professor of microbiology at Johns Hopkins, who told forbes Higher global temperatures may force fungi to adapt to higher temperatures and possibly allow them to tolerate our temperatures. "If that happens, we'll see brand new fungal diseases that we haven't seen before," Casadevall said. Higher temperatures also expand the range of some fungi and may expose more people to infection. , where the fungus responsible for Valley Fever, historically found in the Southwest, is now spreading across the country,

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last of us has been a huge hit for HBO, receiving great reviews and managing to grow its viewership week in week out, albeit against the Grammys. The nine-episode series, starring Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Pedro Pascal as Joel, adapts the acclaimed game series of the same name. The first game released in 2013 by the studio Naughty Dog is one of the most Serious Games in history praised and a huge commercial success. In the decade since its release it has already been remastered, remade and had a sequel, The Last of Us Part IIwhatever was a sales success, The show and game depict the world after a devastating fungal epidemic that wiped out most of humanity and turned its hosts into zombies. Although Brain Infection is fictional, it is inspired by a very real set of mind-altering fungi that hijack and zombify their hosts. In the show, it is suggested that climate change has allowed the fungus to make the jump to humans. Though it's possible the fungus could make the jump from insects to humans, experts point out forbes They would of course lose any mind controlling power in the process.

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Experts said that there has been no epidemic in humans due to fungal infection. forbes The possibility was unlikely. Fungi are responsible for some of the largest extinction events in plants and animals, however, increasing resistance to antifungals, especially that induced by their use in agriculture, is a significant problem. Beardsley said the future threat "could be something completely unpredictable" and something we need to be "hypervigilant" about, adding that the greatest risk would come from threats to our food crops. Casadevall acknowledged that while we can't point to historical examples of epidemics caused by fungi, we should be cautious. "What I will say is that when I went to medical school, the coronavirus was not going to kill," he told Forbes.

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19. World Health Organization highlights how many fungi are pathogenic first look list The Health Threat Fungi Published in Oct. The list, ranked according to their risk to public health and danger of resistance, identified four in its most dangerous "critical" category: Cryptococcus neoformans, aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans And white ear, aspergillus fumigata And Cryptococcus neoformans are inhaled and can spread from the lungs to other parts of the body and Candida albicans There is a yeast that lives on the human body—it usually does no harm—that sometimes it gets out of control. white earwhich was first identified in 2009, was described as a "globally distributed pathogenic yeast" that has a "high outbreak potential" and is "intrinsically resistant to most available antifungal drugs."

'The Last of Us' zombie infestation is real – here's what scientists say about the threat to humans (Forbes)

Amphibian 'apocalypse' caused by most devastating pathogen ever (National Geographic)