All posts tagged: longer distances

Humans Can No Longer Ignore the Threat of Fungi

Humans Can No Longer Ignore the Threat of Fungi

This article was originally published by Undark Magazine. Back at the turn of the 21st century, valley fever was an obscure fungal disease in the United States, with fewer than 3,000 reported cases a year, mostly in California and Arizona. Two decades later, cases of valley fever have exploded, increasing roughly sevenfold by 2019. And valley fever isn’t alone. Fungal diseases in general are appearing in places they have never been seen before, and previously harmless or mildly harmful fungi are becoming more dangerous for people. One likely reason for this worsening fungal situation, scientists say, is climate change. Shifts in temperature and rainfall patterns are expanding where disease-causing fungi occur; climate-triggered calamities can help fungi disperse and reach more people; and warmer temperatures create opportunities for fungi to evolve into more dangerous agents of disease. For a long time, fungi have been a neglected group of pathogens. By the late 1990s, researchers were already warning that climate change would make bacterial, viral, and parasite-caused infectious diseases such as cholera, dengue, and malaria more widespread. …