Deadly fungus could cause a pandemic more fatal than COVID-19, scientists warn

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 01, 2021, 06.40 PM(IST)

Representative: This handout image released by the Swedish Museum of Natural History on April 24, 2017 shows an X-ray tomographic rendering of a bubble in 2.4 billion-year-old lava containing mycelial fossils. The bubble is 0.8 mm in diameter. Fossils acc Photograph:( AFP )

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While the world struggles to contain the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, scientists are warning of another one which is likely to come from a yeast-like fungus

While the world struggles to contain the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, scientists are warning of another one which is likely to come from a yeast-like fungus.

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were cited by The Sun as saying that the next pandemic could be caused by "Candida Auris", a fungus which resembles the Black Plague.

They referred to CA as the "perfect pathogen" for a much serious pandemic. The CDC claimed that if the fungus permeates one's bloodstream, it will most certainly become fatal. If it enters the body through catheters or other tube-based equipment in hospitals, it would be even more fatal.

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The fungus was initially identified in 2009, and remains largely triumphant in the face of antifungal drugs.

An epidemiologist from Imperial College, London - Johanna Rhodes said that the fungus can survive on surfaces for long periods. "One of the things that make Candida Auris so scary is the fact it can linger on inanimate surfaces for long periods and withstand whatever you throw at it," Rhodes told The Sun.

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Rhodes was one of the scientists involved in containing a fungus outbreak in the UK in 2016. The fungus was compared to the Black Plague only after a CDC doctor found that the fungal makeup resembled substances that are found in lagoons, and other areas brimming with bacteria.

"It is a creature from the black lagoon. It bubbled up and now it is everywhere," The Sun quoted CDC's Dr Tom Chiller as saying.

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After COVID-19 emerged and brought to light the loopholes in global healthcare structures, scientists warned that many such pandemics could pop up in the coming years. Many have attributed it to human activity and the depletion of natural resources, with climate change also emerging as an important variable.

Now, scientists are warning global healthcare professionals to buckle up, and governments to invest more in healthcare and disease prevention to wade off potential pandemics, many of which could be more fatal than COVID-19.

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