Could a fungal infection cause a pandemic, like the zombies in ‘The Last of Us’?

by Hannah Turner
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The Last of Us

Is the bleak future reflected in The Last of Us?

It is well known that “The Last of Us” is a fictional work that imagines a dystopian world where the undead, or zombies, have taken over due to a fungus that changed people’s thoughts, behaviour, and food. According to the most recent interview with a mycologist and researcher of fungus, a global fungal pandemic may be “possible.”

fungal infection

To be fair, this does not imply that a pandemic is already underway, but it does suggest that, should it go unchecked, like in the Naughty Dog game, such a scenario could arise in the future.

A global fungal pandemic is “possible,” according to an expert

The core plot of “The Last of Us,” according to Insider, is about a fungal pandemic that struck unpredictably one day and resulted in the infection of numerous people and their transformation into zombies, which left its spectators puzzled.

To address this query for the general public, the report also featured interviews with professionals, particularly those specialising in mycology.

Norman Van Rhijn, a mycologist at the University of Manchester who specialises in fungal diseases, replied “yes,” stating that it is feasible.

The director of fungal infections at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Chiller, added, “I am not going to be surprised that new fungi emerge as human pathogens that become more challenging to cure and more contagious.”

To Take Place In ‘The Last of Us’ In Real Life?

According to Interesting Engineering, Cordyceps, which grows on zombies’ heads and is the primary cause of illnesses in the show, cannot conceivably infect humans because it cannot survive at normal body temperatures.

There are additional known to man fungi that can modify the brain and behaviour, one of which has the potential to seriously alter a person’s perception and behaviour and even be the cause of mental instability. The story of “The Last of Us” is quite similar to actual life, but it has not yet occurred, or at least not to the extent of an epidemic or pandemic.

Are Zombies Really Possible?

How do zombies come to be? The idea that these mythical corporeal beings can die and then come back to life, with their most distinctive characteristic being a yearning for the human brain, is one of their key characteristics. The term “undead” is also used to describe them. They are closely related to a person’s brain and turn them into cannibalistic walking dead.

The only way to become a zombie is to become infected, which can happen when you are bitten, eaten, or get the virus, then temporarily pass out and reanimate.

A study on wasps that can turn spiders into zombies showed that they do it by hacking into their brains and turning them into mindless hunters.

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