A Last of Us-like zombie fungus is feared to be spreading after a world-first case was confirmed in an unnamed person.
Silver leaf disease had been a problem for rose bushes and branches, not the human race – until now. A 61-year-old Indian mycologist appears to have contracted the disease, a world first for the predominantly plant-based fungus.
Case studies from earlier this year confirmed the botanical blunder, which has seen a male patient in India's eastern region diagnosed following a cough and hoarse voice were noted.
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A CT and X-ray scan of his neck revealed a pus-filled abscess next to his trachea. It came as the unnamed patient was suffering from fatigue and a difficulty in swallowing also.
Lab tests undertaken at the time found no signs of any concern, but later testing and a special staining technique used to detect fungi, found the root-like filaments causing trouble.
With just a few hundred fungal disease types found in people so far, the appearance of hyphae in the man's throat was a cause for concern, sciencealert reported. Usual infections like ringworm and athlete's foot cause irritation, but little is known about silver leaf disease's impact on people.
Fungal-like infections of unknown origins were the basis of the Last of Us' plot, the hit video game which saw the world plunged into chaos following an outbreak of a mystery disease. Said infections soon spread, and an extremely rare fungus was behind it.
This extremely rare infection's origins are unknown, with the infected mycologist not sure where he could have picked up the troublesome fungus. Said patient had a fully working immune system and was not suffering any long-term health defects either, prompting some concern from the scientific community.
Study authors wrote: "Cross-kingdom human pathogens, and their potential plant reservoirs, have important implications for the emergence of infectious diseases."
Thankfully for the rest of the human race, it remains somewhat unlikely we will ever see the infection again. Why worry about a fungal infection when the Earth's core is, according to a new report, 'leaking helium' at an alarming rate.
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