Daniela Hernandez | WSJ (March 24, 2023): HBO’s The Last of Us previews what a fungal apocalypse might look like. While scientists aren’t worried about the Cordyceps fungus taking us out IRL, deaths due to severe fungal infections are going up and raising alerts from public-health agencies.
Video timeline: 0:00 Fungal infections kill an average of 1.6 million people per year 0:30 How climate change has aided in fungi production 2:11 Infectious fungi are more dangerous for compromised immune systems 2:42 Why there are limited treatment options for fungal infections 3:29 How worried should you be about fungi?
I explain three big reasons why the next big health threat might come from a fungus.
Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. CDC is concerned about C. auris for three main reasons:
- It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections. Some strains are resistant to all three available classes of antifungals.
- It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
- It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.