'You've got to be kidding me': MSNBC host spooked by revelation that climate change is making fungus deadlier
MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing was taken aback by NBC Senior Medical Correspondent Doctor John Torres' revelation on Tuesday that Candida auris – a drug-resistant fungal infection that kills a third to three-quarters of those who are afflicted – is evolving to survive in warmer environments such as the human body and that this adaptation may be a direct consequence of climate change.
"Is it also resistant to the usual cleaning materials that we use?" Jansing asked Torres.
"No, it's not. It hasn't shown resistance to cleaning materials. It has shown resistance to the drugs and the antibiotic, the antifungals we use. Now, the one thing about fungus – fungi – is they are very, very hard to treat once they take a foothold in the body, and we have very strong medicines that can treat them," Torres explained. "But some of these have been resistant to one or other medicines. What they're starting to see is what they call pan-resistance. These are the fungus that are resistant to all the antifungals we have, and that's when it causes an issue. And right now, if you look at the mortality rate for people who get this, thirty to seventy-two percent, that's a huge mortality rate, seventy-two percent, of someone who's possibly infected with this. And those are the ones that are probably in the drug-resistant category."
That clearly alarmed Jansing.
"Wow. So why is this so virulent?" she wondered.
"So here's the thing we think is happening. Up until now, this type of fungus hasn't really affected us. As a matter of fact, this first started hearing about it in the Nineties, early Two-Thousands. We think that what is happening is this fungus normally can't live at the temperature inside our body. It lives cooler temperatures, and so our temperature of 98.6 was keeping it at a bay," Torres said. "But we think because of climate warming, that the fungus is actually adapting to warmer temperatures, which means it's gonna be able to colonize in our body bodies."
Jansing was unsettled by these facts.
"You've got to be kidding me," she replied.
"No," Torres continued, "and this is what they're thinking right now. And unfortunately, as the climate warms, this could become more and more a bigger issue, not just with this fungus, but with other fungi as well."
Watch below or at this link.
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