In a shocking revelation, top health experts who are presently working relentlessly in Covid wards in renowned government hospitals unveiled that the reason for the spread of Mucormycosis or black fungus among many Covid-19 recovered patients could be contaminated nasal swab used during testing.
Black Fungus can float in the environment or rests 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.
One thing is clear – it can infect only those whose immunity is weak due to illnesses. The infection is smart enough to enter an individual body through various ways like inhalation or consuming fungal-infected food or coming in contact with any such object. However, most of the patients who got admitted to the hospital with Black fungus neither took steroid nor were on oxygen support during Covid-19 treatment.
With time and observation, the experts came to a conclusion that 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 these admitted patients have also said to have undergone the nose swab tests multiple times.
In developed countries, these swabs are sterilised before use, through gamma radiation. But in India, there is no quality control on their production and handling. This is why patients in US and UK never contracted the fungal infection. Additionally, the low price rate of RT-PCR tests is also one of the reasons for increasing tests.
“We don’t know the hygiene status of the workers who are making these swabs or places where it is made and packed,” said a Delhi doctor who specialises in infectious diseases. Mucormycosis is of many types. 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.