Home / News / India /  Raw fruit not cause for black fungus: AIIMS chief busts myth around infection

There is no data to suggest that a person can develop mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, by consuming raw fruit, said AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria on Friday.

Speaking about its cause and misinformation surrounding the infection, Guleria said that monitoring the blood sugar levels of Covid-19 patients is important to prevent the outbreak of black fungus.

"There are a lot of false messages going around that it can happen due to eating raw food but there is no data to suggest that. It also has nothing to do with the type of oxygen being used. It is also being reported in people in home isolation," said Guleria.

The doctor informed that uncontrolled diabetes along with a Covid infection can also lead to a patient developing black fungus.

"There has been an increasing trend in the fungal infection being seen in Covid patients. This was also reported to some extent during the SARS outbreak. Uncontrolled diabetes with Covid can predispose to the development of mucormycosis," said Guleria.

"Steroid use has increased much more in this Covid wave and steroids given, when not indicated in mild or early disease, can cause a secondary infection. Those given high doses of steroids, when not indicated, can lead to high blood sugar levels and a high chance of mucormycosis," he added.

The AIIMS chief further listed ways to control the spread of the fungus.

"Three factors are very important -- good control of blood sugar levels, those on steroids must monitor blood sugar levels regularly and being careful about when to give steroids and their dosage," said Guleria.

The statement comes in the backdrop of at least 7,250 people having been infected with the fungus across the country and at least 219 deaths due to it.

The Centre on Thursday urged all states and union territories to declare black fungus as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act to ensure mandatory surveillance to tackle the "new challenge".

The Delhi High Court also asked the Centre to take steps to import Amphotericin-B used for treating it from wherever it is available in the world to bridge its shortage "before we lose more precious lives".

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