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Business News/ Science / News/  Zombie apocalypse: Fungus creating havoc in The Last of Us exists in real
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Zombie apocalypse: Fungus creating havoc in The Last of Us exists in real

The web series The Last of Us invokes curiosity in viewers who ponder upon the possibilities of such infections occurring in the real world

The fungus shown in the series is a variant of cordyceps and most virulent forms of this fungi can inhabit their host and eat them alivePremium
The fungus shown in the series is a variant of cordyceps and most virulent forms of this fungi can inhabit their host and eat them alive

The Last of Us web series is a post-apocalyptical drama that revolves around a marauding fungus that starts a wave of infection. Such zombie-based dramas are becoming increasingly popular now, invoking curiosity in viewers who ponder upon the possibilities of such infections occurring in the real world.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, such concerns have got some extra wind, and news or other content around such themes is also gaining more traction.

But, talking specifically about the fungus in The Last of Us web series, in real life it does not have the ability to wreak such havoc. The fungus shown in the series is a variant of cordyceps and most virulent forms of this fungi can inhabit their host and eat them alive. The fungi then serve the brain link with the body and use it to move around and infect others.

For now, this whole zombie thing by the variant of cordyceps only occurs in certain species of ants. Not even all ants are affected by fungi, so it's very unlikely that the phenomena can break out of the insect world.

According to health experts, climate change can make fungal infections more widespread in humans. We breathe in a lot of fungi during respiration as our body has fungal spores, but the human body is evolved to fight fungal infections.

Aspergillus, Histoplasma, Blastomyces, and Coccidioides are some of the fungal varieties that can infect humans. But, these can only create minor problems with our immune system and are usually treated by anti-fungal.

The experts add that some ’shrooms can have mind-altering effects on the human brain, but these are usually mild and temporary and cannot be compared with what Ophiocordyceps unilateralis does to the ant.

The overuse of antibiotics should be avoided as they can wipe out the good bacteria from the human body and make it more vulnerable to fungal infections.

 

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Published: 03 Mar 2023, 09:24 PM IST
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