On 25 May, Bangladesh detected two black fungus cases in patients who had recovered from COVID-19. But this is not the first time that the black fungus case has been found in our country. We had detected it earlier and see it once in a while.
Usually, people who have uncontrolled diabetes, low immune system or take excessive steroids are under risk to be infected by this fungus. The excessive use of steroids and immunosuppressant weakens our macrophages in the body. Hence, it does not work actively against this fungus and patients get vulnerable against it. Also, cancer patients who are taking chemotherapy are under risk. Otherwise, general people are not under any threat.
The scenario is not like we will be vastly infected by this fungus just because our neighbour country is facing a critical situation. Even if any patient with black fungus enters Bangladesh, it will not put us under any threat. That is because this fungus does not spread through humans, rather it spreads naturally. When people come in contact with the fungal spores in the environment, they get infected. A patient cannot actively spread this fungus to anyone.
A lot of people have been infected in India and they are under higher risk, but there are few reasons behind that too. As South Asia has the perfect humidity for this fungus to rapidly grow, India has seen a jump in infection and also, its dense population has accelerated it. Therefore, the infection rate looks higher there.
Moreover, in the moment of crisis, we have seen that India used industrial grade oxygen for COVID-19 patients. Usually, that oxygen is not pure enough. Oxygen cylinders are kept in damp places, which helps the fungus to grow. Black fungus might have grown inside the cylinder or in its nozzles and from there patients might have been infected. So, this industrial oxygen is responsible for this critical situation, I believe.
In the near future, if Bangladesh faces any critical situation like this, we should take notes now. So, if we want to avoid this situation, we should have a clear guideline for our physicians about how to disinfect these oxygen cylinders before using them. And this guideline must be followed by oxygen producing companies and their employees too.
Patients who have just recovered from COVID-19 must wear masks 24/7 to escape this dangerous situation. People who are at risk of being infected by this fungus must remain under sunlight so that the fungus cannot grow easily.
If you ask me, is this black fungus going to be another pandemic in Bangladesh? The answer is no, but we must not take it lightly if we want to avoid it. Therefore, we should be prepared for the worst too.