There are many things in this world that can keep you up at night. There’s a COVID-19, yes, but if you’re worried like me you might leave a long list of additional fears: car crashes, cancer, poisoning and poorly regulated glass diets, seizures. on a wildfire, you cut yourself off with electricity and plug your laptop into a dodgy restaurant. But what is probably not at the top of your list is mushrooms. Unfortunately, this could change.
In 2009, a patient in Japan contracted a viral infection caused by a fungal infection in his ear. The most transmissible Candida auris The fungus had never been scientifically known (and drug-resistant), but within a few years, the disease began to manifest itself in Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and South Africa.
Scientists thought that the spread was caused by human migration, but following these cases, they were surprised to find that the species were not at all compatible. Instead, scientists are seeing a number of diseases, independent of the underlying disease, emerge worldwide, at the same time. About one third of the population is infected Candida auris die within 30 days, and now there are thousands of people in 47 countries. Some scientists think that a sudden increase in world events is a sign of things to come.
People need to think ourselves lucky that they do not have to constantly worry about fungal infections. “If you were a tree, you would be terrified of fungi,” he says Dr. Arturo Casadevall, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University who specializes in fungal infections. And if you are a fish, a reptile, or an amphibian, fungi can also be high on your list of fears, once you have listed them. (Fungal infections are known to kill snakes, fish, corals, insects, and more.) In recent years, fungal infections have been called a name. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid) has devastated aquatic life worldwide, and some scientists are comparing that chytrid is responsible for the decline in the population of more than 500 species of amphibians. To illustrate this, about one in 16 species of amphibians are scientifically recognized.
One of the reasons that fungal infections are so common in so many species is that fungi are so widespread. This is dating, but you know Sting’s song “Every Breath Yours”? Louis, “He’s got to go up in the air. He’s everywhere.”
People can get infections caused by a fungus (athlete’s foot, scratch, and fungal infections are one of the leading causes of death in people living with HIV). But often people do not fall victim to the fungus for one main reason: humans are hot. (Although you want to be a party goer, you may be pleased to know that the average person is not 98.6 degrees Celsius. That figure is based on a German study conducted in 1851. In fact, the human body is extremely important. worldwide it is between 97.5 and 97.9 degrees Fahrenheit.) Ways with warm blood, usually, are too hot for the fungus to survive. One of Casadevall’s studies compares that 95 percent of fungal species cannot survive on average a person’s internal temperature.
You can see the heat barrier in action when you look at an animal that is hiding, which needs to lower its internal temperature in order to survive the winter. For example, bats have recently been severely damaged as a result of white nose syndrome, which infects them when they are hibernat and thus cools down more than usual.
For Casadevall, his findings are consistent with his theory of animal and mushroom history. They suggest that our genetic predisposition to blood transfusions may be due to the fact that we do not have the kind of fungus that can kill people with cold blood.