A fevered planet & the rise of fungal pathogens
This information seemed relevant for other preppers to be aware of, and the scientific article linked is fairly new as it was published in April 2021:
A professor of mine recently brought up how in the past, fungal pathogens have not been major health concerns for humans the way viral and bacterial pathogens have been. She spoke about how this was due to the fact that the majority of (although certainly not all) fungal pathogens don’t thrive at the temperature the typical human body is at, because it is much too warm for them. Essentially: “For the vast majority of fungal species, the capacity to grow at elevated temperatures limits their ability to infect and establish in mammals. However, fungi can be trained to evolve thermotolerance” (Nnadi et al).
As the planet is essentially fevered and we see global warming (IPCC Report) the freedom we have previously enjoyed from the threat of fungal pathogens may be coming to an end as “gradual adaptation to increasing temperature caused by climate change could lead to an increase of organisms that can cause disease.” (Nnadi et al.) Warming the planet means that fungal pathogens are adapting to survive and thrive at higher temperatures, temperatures that are far closer to a human’s body temperature than we should be comfortable with. “In addition, climate change can increase the geographic range of pathogenic species or their vectors, leading to the emergence of diseases in areas where they have not previously been reported.” (Nnadi et al.)
This is a major cause for concern because “fungi can arguably pose equal or even greater threats [than viruses and bacteria]: There are no vaccines available yet for fungal pathogens, the arsenal of antifungal agents is extremely limited, and fungi can live saprotrophically, producing large quantities of infectious spores and do not require host-to-host contact to establish infection. Indeed, fungi seem to be uniquely capable of causing complete host extinction.” (Nnadi et al.)
Figure from Climate change and the emergence of fungal pathogens (Nnandi et al.)
Official Citations of the Linked Sources:
Nnadi NE, Carter DA (2021) Climate change and the emergence of fungal pathogens. PLOS Pathogens 17(4): e1009503. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009503
IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.