Fact Check: Are Chickens getting affected by Black Fungus?

Quick Take

A YouTube video shows a chicken claiming that it is affected by black fungus and the same can now be affecting the humans. We fact-checked and found that the claim is mostly false.

The Claim

Titled “Black Fungus In Chicken” the YouTube shorts video shows a man showing a cut chicken with some black materials in the belly. The man narrates that it is black fungus and it has now started spreading among chickens. The archived version of the video can be seen here.

Fact Check

What is Black Fungus?

Black Fungus, medically called Mucormycosis, is a rare but serious fungal infection caused by a kind of fungus called mucormycete. Mucormycetes are a group of fungi that are commonly found in  decaying organic matter, such as leaves, compost piles, and animal dung.

Can Chickens get Black Fungus disease?

Yes. But very rarely.

Scientists have noted, “Chickens are less susceptible to mucor infection” but in exceptional cases, “The infection can spread to gastrointestinal tract, skin and other organs.”

Should humans stop eating chicken due to fear of Black Fungus?

No. You can prevent black fungus by taking care of your immunity and hygiene. There is no evidence of humans contracting black fungus disease from poultry.

Experts at Health Desk, a Covid-19 resource for journalists powered by public health experts, also confirmed that mucormycosis does not spread between humans and animals. “Chickens (or poultry) with immune problems can develop mucormycosis. However, there is no evidence to suggest that people become infected with mucormycosis by eating cooked chicken. Raw chicken should never be eaten since there is a high risk of food-borne illness from bacteria like camphylobacer and salmonella.”

Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), in a press meet, has listed down preventive measures. The list does not contain any advice of “stop eating chicken.”

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