Fact Check: Black Fungus can spread through farm chickens?

Bhubaneswar: A post claiming that Black Fungus can spread through farm chickens is being circulated on social media.

However, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) has clarified that the claim is fake. There is no scientific evidence that the infection can spread from chickens to humans, said PIB.

Mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by fungal infection. People catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma.

The disease is being detected among patients who are recovering or have recovered from COVID-19. Moreover, anyone who is diabetic and whose immune system is not functioning well needs to be on the guard against this.

According to an advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the following conditions in COVID-19 patients increase the risk of mucormycosis infection:

  1. Uncontrolled diabetes
  2. Weakening of immune system due to use of steroids
  3. Prolonged ICU/hospital stay
  4. Comorbidities / post organ transplant / cancer
  5. Voriconazole therapy (used to treat serious fungal infections)

What are the common symptoms?

Mucormycosis begins to manifest as skin infection in the air pockets located behind our forehead, nose, cheekbones, and in between the eyes and teeth. It then spreads to eyes, lungs and can even spread to the brain. It leads to blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing of blood.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has advised that not all cases of blocked nose should be considered as cases of bacterial sinusitis, particularly during/after the treatment of Covid-19 patients. One must seek medical help for detecting fungal infection.

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