Deadly fungal disease killing snakes by rotting their skin


Snakes all around the planet are facing a tough time as a deadly fungus, that forms fast-spreading lesions all across their bodies, are widely killing the reptiles. According to reports, the fungal infection has been identified among 23 snake species in the United States, and it is expected to emerge as a global outbreak in the coming days.

A new study published in the journal 'Science Advances' says that the fungus named Ophidiomyces Ophidiodiicola may result in the extinction of various snake species in all nooks of the globe as it is showing signs of spreading unanimously everywhere. The researchers found that no snake species is immune to this fungus and this might lead to some species getting extinct.

"This really is the worst-case scenario. All snakes could become infected, or already are infected," said Frank Burbrink, the lead author of the study in a statement.

It was in 2009 that the fungus, Ophidiomyces Ophidiodiicola was first discovered. The fungal infection has already been found in snake species like garter snakes, milk snakes, and vipers in the United States. The researchers also revealed that three dominant snake species in Europe has also been infected with this fungus.

According to researchers, the lesions formed on the snake's body usually spreads quickly along its body and can only be dealt with by molting. These molting snakes tend to spend more time under the sun's heat which will make them very much vulnerable to starvation and predators.

The researchers also urged the authorities to take necessary steps to combat the spread of this fungal infection, as it may sometimes wipe out the entire snake community from the planet.