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World’s first case of human infected with deadly plant fungus reported in India

World's first case of human infected with deadly plant fungus reported in India
Source: Science Direct

In a groundbreaking occurrence, a plant fungus infected a human being in India.

According to a report published in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports by physicians at the Consultant Apollo Multispecialty Hospitals, a 61-year-old mushroom hunter with no preexisting health issues visited the hospital.

Human infected with plant fungus suffered from flu-like symptoms and difficulty swallowing for three months

He complained of a persistent cough, voice hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, and exhaustion lasting for three months. The exact date of the incident remains uncertain, NY Post reported.

After conducting an X-ray and CT scans on the male patient, the doctors reported that the X-ray results of the chest were within normal range. However, the CT scan showed a paratracheal abscess located in his neck. According to doctors, it can potentially block airways and cause severe infections that can be fatal if left untreated.

The medical professionals treated the fungal infection with a combination of medication, anti-fungal therapy, and surgical drainage of the pus. They also advised taking preventative measures to avoid exposure to the fungus and to address any underlying risk factors.

After draining the pus from the patient, doctors sent it to the World Health Organization’s collaborating center located in northern India for examination. The individual has subsequently prescribed a two-month course of two anti-fungal medications.

Upon conducting tests, medical professionals diagnosed the man with Chondrostereum purpureum, a type of plant fungus responsible for causing silver leaf disease in plants.

Patient contracted the disease while working with plant fungi

The patient is thought to have contracted the disease while working as a plant mycologist, handling decaying matter, mushrooms, and other plant fungi. Prior to this case, there was no known evidence of this particular fungus causing infections in humans.

While there are millions of fungi, only a few hundred can cause harm to both humans and animals in addition to plants.

After two years of monitoring, doctors confirmed that the man had not experienced any complications and was no longer infected with the disease. There was no indication of recurrence.

The occurrence of this unprecedented case raises significant concerns since it demonstrates that this fungal infection can affect both individuals with compromised immune systems and those who are generally healthy.

About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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