Experts attribute Black Fungus to unhygienic collection of nose swabs
24 May 2021
The reason for the increased spread of Mucormycosis or black fungus among many recovered new coronavirus patients in India could be contamination of the nostrills due to unhygienic ways of sample collection, say health experts.
This revelation comes from some of the top health experts who are currently working in corona wards in renowned government hospitals.
Experts say the insertion of a swab (a cotton ball) in the nose during the RT-PCR test could be one of the primary reasons for the outbreak of this fungal disease. All the admitted patients have also undergone the nose swab tests multiple times.
Black Fungus can float in the environment or rest on surfaces and objects. The fungal infection is caused by exposure to mucor mould that is usually found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables. This is known to affect the brain, lungs, and sinuses. The infection can also be deadly to those suffering from diabetes and having compromised immune systems such as such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS.
While the fungus infects only those whose immunity is weak due to illnesses, it can enter an individual’s body through various ways like inhalation or consuming fungal-infected food or coming in contact with any such object.
It may also be noted that most of the patients who got admitted to the hospital with Black Fungus neither took steroid nor were on oxygen support during treatment for corona.
In developed countries, these swabs are sterilised before use, through gamma radiation. But in India, there is no such quality control in Idia, either during production or while handling. This a;lso explains why patients in the US or the UK rarely contract the fungal infection.
Mucormycosis is one of many types of fungal diseases. Rhino-orbito-cerebral Mucormycosis starts from the nose and proceeds towards the eye and skull. The second one is Pulmonary Mucormycosis which infects the lungs and chest. Thirdly, Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis infects the digestive tracks.