Coronavirus Pandemic

What’s black fungus among Covid-19 patients? UAE health entity explains

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on May 27, 2021
A doctor examines a patient infected with black fungus in a government hospital in India. Photo: AFP

Black fungus is not contagious and is not transmitted from person to person, health centre says

India’s deadly second wave of Covid-19 has brought with it a rapid rise in cases of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus.

According to Indian reports, over 9,000 cases of the infection have been reported so far.

Now, an Abu Dhabi-based health entity has explained what the rare fungal infection is.

The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) took to social media to clarify that black fungus is not contagious and is not transmitted from person to person.

However, it does spread from fungal spores that are present in the air or in the environment.

It explained that the infection affects people with weak immune systems and may cause serious complications.

The ADPHC said it is caused by mold found in moist environments such as soil or compost and can attack the respiratory system.

“Black fungi most commonly affect the sinuses or lungs after a person inhales fungal spores from the air. They can also affect the skin after a superficial injury such as a wound or burn,” the authority explained.

The infection typically causes blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.

A Reuters report said the disease has a close link to diabetes, and conditions which compromise the immune system. Citing experts, the news agency said that an overuse of certain drugs - which suppress the immune system - during the Covid-19 pandemic could be causing the surge.

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