Cordyceps The Last of Us
Cordyceps The Last of Us

The Last Of Us is undoubtedly the series of the moment. The new HBO fiction starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey based on Naughty Dog’s video games is a worldwide phenomenon. And no wonder, since both the first title and its sequel have millions of fans around the world. The series was released on January 15 and tells the story of Joel and Ellie. Two survivors of a post-apocalyptic world where most humans have been infected or killed by a fungus called Cordyceps. But did you know that this fungus exists in real life? What would happen if you or I were infected with it?

The Cordyceps fungus is the cause of the end of the world.

Apparently, it all started in Central and South America, due to the consumption of certain crops infected by a strange mutation of this fungus. At least that is what happens in the video games. In the series, everything points to the fact that the infection originated in Indonesia.

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The spread was so rapid that there was no time to react. Within a few months, sixty percent of humanity was already infected or dead due to Cordyceps. The first symptoms begin to appear two to three days after the first contact with the zombie fungus. Either by inhalation of its spores or by the bite of another infected person. Cordyceps is a parasite. It reproduces inside its host while the latter is still alive, taking control of brain activity and making it extremely aggressive. But undoubtedly the most disturbing thing is that, in its early stages, the host is still aware of its actions, but cannot control them. He is a prisoner inside his own body and has to witness first-hand how he himself mutilates and murders anyone who crosses his path.

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Could Cordyceps infect humans in real life?

The Cordyceps fungus, also known as the zombie fungus, lives deep in jungles and forests. It is capable of transforming small insects such as ants and spiders into real zombies and can wipe out entire colonies in a few days. Infection begins when its spores come into contact with the insect. It takes root in its muscles, controlling it and forcing it to move against its will until it finds the perfect place for the fungus to reproduce. Generally this place is usually in dark, damp places. The parasite feeds on its host until it dies and can then spread more spores through the air to infect more insects.

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But what would happen if Cordyceps infected a human being? Surely the fungus would attack your body like any other parasite would. You would start to feel symptoms that would be familiar to you. Fever, cough, body aches, dizziness and vomiting. You might think it’s just a fever without even knowing that the infection is spreading throughout your body. But rest assured, it will all pass soon. Luckily for us, Cordyceps can’t control humans. Our immune system is far greater than that of an insect. In The Last Of Us you face a mutation of the fungus, that’s why it could cause the apocalypse. But what would happen if Cordyceps mutated in real life, would we be able to win, or would we be doomed to extinction?