There is an increase in dangerous fungal infections, and a growing body of evidence indicates that warmer temperatures may be to blame. According to experts in infectious diseases, the average body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit has long been too high for most fungi to survive.
However, research reveals that some fungi may be evolving to withstand more heat stress as global temperatures have risen, including those found inside the human body. Research suggests that some disease-causing fungi may expand their geographic range due to climate change.
According to Peter Pappas, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “when fungi are exposed to more consistent elevated temperatures, there’s a real danger that some fungi that were previously harmless suddenly become potential pathogens.”
According to public health experts, a growing population of immunocompromised individuals more susceptible to severe fungal disease is one reason deaths from fungal infections are rising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that at least 7,000 Americans died from fungal infections in 2021, up from a few hundred each year about 1970. They claimed that there aren’t many treatments for these infections that are both efficient and safe.
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A fungus infects people in large numbers and transforms them into terrible creatures in the video game and HBO series “The Last of Us.” The fungus is based on the genuine genus Ophiocordyceps, which contains species that infect insects and render them ineffective or even fatal.
Experts in infectious diseases said there hadn’t been any reported cases of Ophiocordyceps infections in people but that rising temperatures, which helped the killer fungi in the program spread, may be encouraging other fungi to better adapt to human hosts and move to new areas.