No Definite Link Between Oxygen Therapy And Mucormycosis: AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria

Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS

Mucormycosis is one of the general fungal infections being seen in recovering or recovered COVID-19 patients. The number of cases being reported is increasing, but it is not a communicable disease, meaning it does not spread from one person to another, like COVID-19 does.

This has been stated by Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi, at a media briefing held at the National Media Centre, PIB Delhi today.

Dr Guleria says it is better not to use the term black fungus while talking of mucormycosis, as it leads to a lot of avoidable confusion. “Black fungus is another family; this term got associated with mucormycosis due to the presence of black dots among the culture of white fungal colonies. In general, there are various types of fungal infections such as candida, aspergillosis, cryptococcus, histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis. Mucormycosis, candida and aspergillosis are the ones observed more in those with low immunity.”

However, experts in Karnataka is going to study whether the rise in the Mucormycosis cases is linked to use of industrial oxygen and its possible contamination or not.

The Deputy Chief Minister and the head of the state’s COVID-19 task force C N Ashwath Narayan on Sunday held a meeting with the treatment protocol committee to discuss about the possible sources of the infection.

The state recorded about 700 cases of black fungus infections in the last week and he directed the experts to find its source with various doubts that are being expressed about oxygen supply, quality of piping and cylinders used for it.

It was noted that the country used to record around 100 cases of black fungus in a year before but the state has recorded about 700 cases in the last week. This sudden increase has been the cause of the anxiety said Narayan.

He also stated that black fungus cases have not been spotted in other COVID hit countries but particularly in India.

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