A worker fills oxygen tanks for use in hospitals in Peshawar, Pakistan. — AFP/File
Black fungus is spreading among several coronavirus patients as they are using substandard and used old oxygen cylinders, Khyber Teaching Hospital’s ENT chief Dr Arif Raza has said in a letter to his medical facility’s administration.
According to infectious diseases experts, mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, is a lethal fungal infection found in some serious COVID-19 patients with uncontrolled diabetes and prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay.
Raza, in the letter, said in the last two months, 12 patients underwent sinus surgeries, and out of them, two were infected with “black fungus” during their COVID-19 recovery.
The letter said the fungus was found at the bottom of the oxygen cylinders due to a lack of cleanliness.
“Special care should be taken while filling oxygen into cylinders.”
The health expert, speaking to Geo News on Thursday, said the fungus was infecting patients who were suffering from coronavirus. “If oxygen cylinders given to COVID-19 patients are not cleaned regularly, spores of black fungus will settle in them.”
Dr Raza said the water of the chamber through which the gas is transferred into the cylinder should also be purified intermittently.
The health expert said most people living in damp and agricultural areas suffer from black fungus, adding it spreads in the body as a result of untimely treatment.