Black Fungus is a rare but serious fungal infection caused by a group of fungi called Mucormycosis. These are omnipresent in the environment and can often be seen on rotting food. Earlier, the human body was immune to this infection. However, with the advent of coronavirus weakening our immunity system, the fungus can now infect the human body with deadly results. It is now commonly observed in Covid infected patients with uncontrolled diabetes and prolonged ICU stay.
What are the symptoms?
The initial stage of the infection may show symptoms like sinus, facial pain, fever, stuffy nose, and headache. Later it can also lead to bloody nasal discharge, dental pain, swelling or discolouration. During a severe stage when the infection reaches around the eyes and brain following symptoms can be found:
- Pain in eyes
• Dropping of eyes
• Difficulty in eye movement
• Decrease in vision
• Blackish discolouration roof of the mouth
Who are affected with Black Fungus?
Covid patients undergoing oxygen therapy in ICU, where a humidifier is used, are prone to fungal infections because of exposure to moisture.
Conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, weakening of the immune system due to the use of steroids, prolonged ICU or hospital stay, voriconazole therapy (used to treat serious fungal infections) in Covid-19 patients increase the the risk of mucormycosis.
What is the treatment?
The treatment of this infection requires a multi-disciplinary approach consisting of eye surgeons, ENT specialists, general surgeons, neurosurgeons and dental maxillofacial surgeons, among others, and the institution of the Amphotericin-B injection as an antifungal medicine. In a initial stage patient can stop this black fungus by having a antifungal medicine.
A few districts in Maharashtra reported the first instances of the disease, observed mostly in Covid patients. But now cases have been reported from Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar and other states.
Recent study said that not only Black Fungus but new Variant White Fungus also takes innocent life in India. As per a report by Zee News, Dr SN Singh, Head of Microbiology, Department of PMCH, confirmed cases of white fungus. He said that 4 such cases were detected so far and all the 4 patients showed COVID-19 symptoms but had tested negative in every test. He said that after a detailed investigation, it was revealed that they were infected with white fungus
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