As the world overheats, new dangers emerge to complicate the picture. You've heard of flesh eating bacteria. Apparently there are also flesh-eating fungi which normally aren't dangerous, unless a tornado drives debris into the body.

When tornadoes wiped out Joplin, thirteen people were infected and five died from flesh eating fungi.

Flesh-Eating Fungus Responsible for Five Deaths in Wake of Massive ...

Health officials should be aware of infections caused by the fungus Apophysomyces, according to the studies, which tracked 13 people infected by the pathogen during the Class EF-5 tornado -- the most powerful category -- whose 200-plus mph winds plowed through Joplin on May 22, 2011, initially killing 160 and injuring more than 1,000.

The common fungus -- which lives in soil, wood or water -- usually has no effect on people. But once it is introduced deep into the body through a blunt trauma puncture wound, it can grow quickly if the proper medical response is not immediate, the studies said. Five of the 13 people infected through injuries suffered during the Joplin tornado died within two weeks.

... the victims were infected when their injuries from the tornado were contaminated with debris from the storm, including gravel, wood and soil, as well as the aerosolized fungus. Without the multiple and deep wounds caused the by the storm, cases involving fungal infection are rare, ...

... Apophysomyces infections rapidly ravage the body, quickly sealing off capillaries, shutting off the blood supply and leaving tissue to rot.

For example, Engelthaler said, one victim who suffered a deep wound to the upper right chest required a new titanium rib cage after the fungus rapidly destroyed skin and bones.

"It's unlike anything you've ever seen before,"...

Tags: climate change, flesh-eating fungi, tornadoes

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Thanks for the article Ruth. I didn't know about this.

Scarier and scarier.  There are probably another dozen indirect effects of warming that we don't yet know about.  Let the diasters begin!


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