Can being around a poultry farm or consuming chicken infect you with black fungus?

Ever since the cases of mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus, have surged and the government has declared it to be an ‘epidemic’, social media is flooded with posts claiming a link between chicken consumption and getting infected by mucormycosis. What’s the truth?

Divendra Singh
| Updated: June 7th, 2021

Doctors are also dispelling myths around black fungus and poultry consumption.

In the last couple of weeks, mucormycosis cases, commonly known as black fungus infection, have registered a sharp increase in India giving rise to the fear that consuming chicken may lead to catching the infection.

“Please don’t eat farm chicken for some days. Stay safe,” — this social media post, featuring blackened chickens at some undisclosed poultry farm, has been doing the rounds in the country. However, the same has been junked by the Press Information Bureau (PIB)-Fact Check, which is known for dispelling such viral claims on social media.

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“A post claiming that #BlackFungus can spread through farm chickens is in circulation on social media…  (sic) There is NO scientific evidence that the infection can spread from chickens to humans,” stated the Twitter post of PIB-Fact Check.

Also Read: UP poultry farmers heave a sigh of relief as ease in restrictions and reopening of chicken shops announced

Doctors are also dispelling myths around black fungus and poultry consumption. “Chicken and mucormycosis are not linked in any way. It is merely a rumour. I appeal to people not to take it seriously. On the other hand, boil the chicken meat well and it is absolutely safe to consume,” Amita Jain, Head of the Department of Microbiology  at Lucknow’s King George Medical University told Gaon Connection

Doctors are also dispelling myths around black fungus and poultry consumption.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed today that 28,252 cases of mucormycosis or commonly known as ‘black fungus’ have so far been reported from 28 states/Union Territories in the country.

“Out of this 86 per cent cases are having history of covid, 62.3 per cent are having history of diabetes,” said Vardhan in a meeting with a group of ministers today June 7.

Maharashtra (6,329) and Gujarat (5,486) are the worst affected. These are followed by Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.

Also Read: COVID19 and Black Fungus: Everything you need to know about the rising mucormycosis infections in India

“The higher than usual incidence of Mucormycosis cases & its effective treatment, especially in patients infected with COVID19 disease is being tracked closely,” Vardhan tweeted.

Explaining the reasons behind the rise in cases of black fungus, Gastroenterologist Rajeev Jayadevan was quoted as saying, “Many studies have shown that the beneficial bacteria that thrive in our own body systems are helpful in fighting off the other harmful bacteria. So, long term and irrational use of antibiotics which is prevalent in the treatment of COVID19 actually decreases the general immunity and the patient becomes vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections.”

Read this report in Hindi