Q:

Can Cordyceps fungus infect humans?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Stranger Dimensions, Cordyceps, which is a genus of sac fungi, cannot infect humans. It only affects insects and arthropods, with specific species of cordyceps specifically adapted to infect certain types of insects.

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Full Answer

Wikipedia explains that Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that replaces the tissue of the host insect or arthropod with its own tissue, paralyzes the insect, then sprouts plant-like stems that grow out of the insect's body. The stems release spores, which in turn infect other insect or arthropod hosts.

As Scientific American points out, the video game "The Last of Us" postulates a situation in which Cordyceps has mutated to attack humans, wiping out 60 percent of humanity. Those infected develop zombie-like characteristics, with spores continuing to issue from the hosts' bodies when they finally die.

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