Fact check: Cow dung can’t cure Covid-19, may cause black fungal infection


A video from Gujarat recently went viral in which some men were seen applying cow dung on their bodies, believing it to be a cure for COVID-19.

Gautam Manilal Borisa, associate manager at a pharmaceuticals company, believes the practice helped him recover from COVID-19 last year. He was quoted as saying in a Reuters article, “…even doctors come here. Their belief is that this therapy improves their immunity and they can go and tend to patients with no fear.”

At the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, people reportedly smear their bodies with cow dung and urine mixture and let it dry as they hug and honour cows and practise yoga, after which the packs are washed off with milk or buttermilk.

Doctors, however, say there is no evidence to prove cow dung can cure COVID-19.

“As far as evidence-based scientific understanding is concerned, there is no basis in the claim that cow dung prevents or cures COVID-19 — treatment of COVID-19 is still symptomatic and COVID-appropriate behaviour (proper mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and physical distancing) is still the only way to prevent an infection,” Dr Gyan Bharti, Pulmonologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, tells indianexpress.com.

In fact, doctors warn that such practice may result in the onset of black fungal infection. “Cow dung cannot cure covid. It a misconception and is misleading. Please do not fall for such a myth. It can result in the onset of the black fungal infection, mucormycosis, and must not be engaged in. The only way to handle the pandemic is to get vaccinated, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash hands,” Dr Vikas Maurya, director-pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, added.

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