By: Annie Priya
June 3 2021
After a rise in the number of Mucormycosis cases, Prof Chander said that he stands by what he wrote in the book and did not speculate or conjecture.
After a rise in the number of Mucormycosis cases, Prof Chander said that he stands by what he wrote in the book and did not speculate or conjecture.A claim has been making rounds on social media, claiming that a book published in 2018 called 'Textbook of Medical Mycology,' written by Professor Jagdish Chander, had predicted the rise of black fungus cases and had warned that the infection could 'destroy the country.' The claim is True. Professor Chander is a microbiologist working at Government Medical College Hospital in Chandigarh, Punjab. According to a Times of India report, "He was the first in the world to describe Apophysomyces Variabilis, one of Mucormycosis species. Chapter 26 (ref page no 554) of Chander's book says, "Unlike other fungal diseases, even the AIDS pandemic could not significantly affect the incidence and prevalence of Mucormycosis during the last 3.5 decades". It adds, "However, an upsurge in diabetic cases has changed the entire scenario, more or less like an epidemic in South East Asia posing a severe health threat. Mucormycosis is going to destroy India shortly, in a couple of years." Speaking to TOI, Professor Chander said that he stands by what he wrote in the book and did not speculate or conjecture. He said that during the AIDS pandemic, the cases of fungal diseases like Candidiasis, Pneumocystosis, and Cryptococcosis increased so much that they became AIDS-defining illnesses, and someone who had these infections was presumed to have AIDS. "Our risk factor is diabetes, while in the Western world, it is malignancy like leukemia, carcinoma and transplant surgeries." "The cases of Mucormycosis will rise exponentially," he added. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Mucormycosis is a group of uncommon infections causes by a fungus (fungal infection). This infection usually acquired when spores from the molds are inhaled or, unlikely, enter the body through a cut in the skin. Mucormycosis is a life-threatening infection in people whose immune system doesn't function well, including people with uncontrolled diabetes or solid-organ transplant. According to a BBC report, even before the Coronavirus pandemic, Mucormycosis was very common in India. The report says that the infection affects around 14 in every 100,000 people in India compared to 0.06 per 100,000 in Australia. As of May 24, 2021, 5,424 cases of Mucormycosis were reported from 18 states across the country, with the majority of them in Maharashtra and Gujarat; Union Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan was quoted by Economic Times as saying.