Authorities deny emergence of black fungus among COVID-19 patients in Egypt

Special Authorities deny emergence of black fungus among COVID-19 patients in Egypt
People wearing protective face masks in old Cairo. (REUTERS file photo)
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Updated 23 May 2021

Authorities deny emergence of black fungus among COVID-19 patients in Egypt

Authorities deny emergence of black fungus among COVID-19 patients in Egypt
  • A source at the Ministry of Health said that black fungus has not appeared as a symptom for those recovering from coronavirus, and that Samir Ghanem’s case had been carefully examined for the existence of this symptom

CAIRO: There is no truth to rumours about the spread of a rare fungal infection, black fungus, among coronavirus patients in Egypt, Mohamed Abdel-Fattah, head of the Central Administration for Preventive Medicine Affairs, has said.

Abdel-Fattah said that if infectious disease or a new strain of coronavirus emerges, there will be treatment plans to deal with it. He said that Egypt has a strong epidemiological surveillance system that tracks all epidemic diseases, provides quick solutions to confront the pandemic, and is aware of new science globally.

Egyptian media had quoted the brother of the late actor Samir Ghanem saying that his brother had contracted the black fungus disease in his eyes, indicating that this disease is “one of the worst things that a person is exposed to.”

A source at the Ministry of Health said that black fungus has not appeared as a symptom for those recovering from coronavirus, and that Samir Ghanem’s case had been carefully examined for the existence of this symptom.

The rumours circulating about Ghanem’s death have caused some concern in Egypt, as news comes of the spread of black fungus in India.

Hany El-Nazer, consultant dermatologist and former president of the National Research Center, stressed that the spread of the black fungus is not a cause for concern or fear.

“Black fungus has been known for a long time by scientists and doctors, especially dermatologists. It sometimes affects some people who suffer from immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS, people with uncontrolled diabetes, or those who eat strong immunosuppressive drugs or cortisone in high quantities or antibiotics for long periods,” he said.

“Infection with black fungus is rare. Recently it affected a small number of coronavirus patients in India, and scientists there are still searching for the cause, whether it is because of the drugs taken or because of the patients’ poor immunity.”