To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

'Dangerous fungi' spreading across the US as temperatures rise, gamers terrified

'Dangerous fungi' spreading across the US as temperatures rise, gamers terrified

Nobody panic.

As shown in the first episode, The Last of Us is inspired by a real fungus called Cordyceps and it is only able to leap to humans and infect them thanks to a rise in global temperatures. So, understandably, a report stating that fungal infections are increasing as a result of hotter summers in the United States is causing gamers to run round like headless chickens.

The Last of Us has been an astonishing success for HBO and the second season has already been officially ordered. There are plenty of theories for how the show might adapt Part II, and while that might sound like they're jumping the gun, it just shows how it's impacted households all over. The third episode, 'Long, Long Time,' told the story of survivors Bill and Frank and how their lives intertwine with those of Joel, Tess and Ellie. It's safe to say that fans were in floods of tears when the credits came up. Part of what makes The Last of Us so fascinating is the twist that it takes for the standard apocalypse show, with a horrific fungus that turns its hosts into vessels for its own spread. In a world that's suffered a pandemic only in the last few years, it's lucky that there's nothing that comes close to this... right?

Check out this incredible Clicker cosplay below:

Per the Wall Street Journal, there are two factors leading to a rise in these aforementioned fungal infections in the United States. The first is this increasing temperature trend that allows fungi to enter new geographical ranges beyond their original spread. As a result, the internal temperature of the human body would no longer be a barrier to infection as the pathogen could survive in a hotter environment. “As fungi are exposed to more consistent elevated temperatures, there’s a real possibility that certain fungi that were previously harmless suddenly become potential pathogens,” said Peter Pappas, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the article.

The second is a hangover from the coronavirus crisis. Unfortunately, there are now higher numbers of people with weakened immune systems and therefore they are much more vulnerable than before to severe fungal disease, according to public health experts. And, as described in The Last of Us, there aren't a lot of options for treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 7,000 deaths from fungal infections in the United States in 2021, which is an enormous increase from an average of hundreds of people each year from 1970s.

Stop packing your bags and fuelling the car for a moment. Experts are confident that there have been no known Cordyceps infections in humans however this new data suggests that there is a potential risk for people to become vulnerable to more fungal infections than in previous eras.

Featured Image Credit: HBO, Sony Pictures Releasing

Topics: The Last Of Us, TV And Film