India sees a spike in 'Black Fungus' infection cases
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In Hinduism, the cow is seen as a sacred symbol of life and earth, making some believe that its waste could help protect them as Covid ravages the country. An increasing number of people in India have been smothering themselves in the animal’s faeces and urine believing it will fight off the virus.
Some residents in the Indian state of Gujarat have reportedly been visiting cow shelters once a week and rubbing their excrement over themselves.
Once covered in the substance, they hug each other or leave the mixture to dry in an effort to honour the cows.
When they are done, milk or buttermilk is used to wash off the mixture.
Given that this practice involves breaking social distancing, officials are increasingly concerned that it could fuel the spread of COVID-19 – as well as causing other health complications from the dung itself.
Medical officials have been forced to explain there is no evidence cow poo can boost immunity or help treat COVID-19.
Dr J.A. Jayalal, national president of the Indian Medical Association, said: “There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against COVID-19, it is based entirely on belief.
“There are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products – other diseases can spread from the animal to humans.”
The advice comes as India reports a rise in “black fungus” found in patients suffering from coronavirus.
Medics in the country have been told to look out for possible signs of mucormycosis in Covid patients, despite it usually being a rare infection.
It can cause blackening or discolouring of the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing up blood.
There are strong links to diabetes, which can be made worse by some of the steroids being used to treat coronavirus.
Gujarat has had confirmed cases of mucormycosis, but India’s authorities have assured people that there is not a major outbreak.
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India currently accounts for one in every three Covid deaths reported worldwide daily, with 362,727 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
Doctors and scientists all over the world are reminding people that using alternative treatments for coronavirus usually causes more harm than good, given that they provide a false sense of security and usually have no medical benefits in relation to the virus.
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