As the COVID 19 wave in India is peaking, some new fungal diseases are breaking throughout the country. The most prominent one is the Black Fungus or the Mucormycosis. What exactly is the Black Fungus and what are its symptoms, treatment procedure? And is black fungus contagious? We research these questions and also research about what the white fungus and yellow fungus infections are and how they are related to black fungus and Coronavirus.
The coronavirus crises has not yet ended in the country and now cases of dangerous disease like Black fungus and white fungus are in the news! And by dangerous, I mean it’s truly dangerous diseases.
If you catch COVID-19 there is around 90% chance that your life will be spread you’ll come out of it alive but if you get infected with Black fungus there is only 50% chance of survival. because it’s death rate is around 50%
So well let’s know What is this black fungus disease? How does start? How can it be prevented?
Come let’s find out in today’s article. To make this article, I researched every article about fungus
What is Black fungus? Is it a new disease after COVID-19?
This isn’t a new disease, this fungal infection did happen before, and they’re happening now as well. It is a fungus anywhere you see, this fungus is already there, so it’s called an environment containment! The formal name of the Black fungus disease is mucormycosis. It is an infection of the mucormycosis fungal family. Those fungi belonging to the mucorales family. And fungi of this order are found almost everywhere. Like in soil, in the environment, in the decaying fruits and vegetables, in normal furit and vegetables, they are really very common. This disease comes under the category of opportunistic these infections do not cause trouble in normal conditions they usually inflected people with an impaired immune system or damaged tissue, but whenever these viruses, bacteria and fungi get the opportunity then they attack and infect people.
And now the question is When do they get the opportunity?
When the immune system of the person is weak.This mucorales fungus is normally found in a lot of places in our environment and if it gets inside the body of a fit and healthy person then there will be no problem at all. They wouldn’t Even know that they have this fungus in their body. But if the immune system of the person is compromised, if the immune system is weak. And there can be many reasons for the weakening of the immune system, then the person can get infected.
What are the chances that a person with a compromised immune system may get rid it?
Even then it is a rare disease. because if your environment is clean then such disease do not occur, generally. The environment should be clean and people should not be using steroids. And the other drugs that suppress the functions of the immune system, which are known as immunosuppressants, when they are used as a part of any treatment then mucormycosis may happen.
So suppose there is a young and healthy person who doesn’t have any medical problems, neither diabetes nor anything else, is the chance that they may catch this infection next to impossible?
Ans: – It is very very rare.
So, what are the reason for a weak immune system?
If you have any other disease like Cancer and you’re getting chemotherapy treatment it weakens your immune system.
If you have diabetes or if you’re getting the treatment for COVID-19 or you’re using steroids for a long period of time. Or you’re overusing steroids. That can lead to a weak immune system as well.
So, taking advantage of this, the fungus can get inside your body and get you infected.
And there can be several ways of getting inside your body.
When you breathe, there are numerous spores of this fungus in the air.they can enter your lungs and infect you.
If the food is spoiled or has decaying fungus on it. It can reach your stomach and cause an infection.
Another way is through wounds.
If the spores contaminate your wound. But the most common way is through air. It’s shocking nah…!?
Really it’s infect your lungs when you breathe them in
The area of nose and the sinus are the most common areas where the Mucormycosis infection happens. and when the blood flow is restricted here the skin gets discolored often into a black colour and this is why it is called Black fungus.
It is not that the fungus is really black coloured. Instead, it is the symptom
This area starts looking black is the reason why it is known as black fungus. From here the infection can speard to the eyes and brain as well. It can cause blindness , headaches and sizures as well.
How long does It take to spread?
From the infection till the symptoms start showing ?
When people are very immunocompromised then the progression time is less than a week. So the person get’s to know that they are infected within a week.
If you do get infected, the symptoms that you might come across depends on the area of the body where the fungus is growing.
If we talk about the area of the sinus then you may get toothaches, blurry visions, headaches, nasal congestions black lesions may from your face and you may also get a fever.
If black fungus infection started spreading from your lungs then may get fever, cough, chest pains bloody vomit or cough, or shortness of breath.
If your skin is infected it any wound gets infected then the area around the wound will start turning Black.
If it starts from your stomach, that is known as gastrointestinal mucormycosis then you’ll get abdominal pains, nausea vomiting.
But we told you , the most common is getting infected while breathing.
So the first category of symptoms that I told you about you need to concentrate on them primarily. Because the symptoms are very general. A biopsy required to diagnose them.and if there is an infection in the lungs
X-rays and CT scans are needed
This is a very dangerous disease for anyone catching it. The death rate is very high, as I told you already. The mortality rate is 50% but if it gets very severe, then the death rate may reach 90% but the good news is that this disease is very rare.
Those immunocompromised those who do not have a good immunity.even they rarely get the disease.
And if you are a fit and healthy person and if your immune system is good then you do not have to worry at all.
As a treatment, anti fungal medicines are given to the patients. But currently in our country, there is a shortage of anti-fungal medicines too.
Because the disease is spreading so fast throughout the country in states like rajasthan and telangana, Black fungus has already been declared an epidemic.
And there have been notifications from the central government as well, All the States have been warned about this disease. The second method of treatment is through surgery
The infected tissue is removed from The body. often, In several patients, it meant that their entire jaw had to be removed or someone’s eye had to be removed because it was infected. Such cases are also seen.
If you have diabetes then you need to control it,The sugars should be tightly controlled.
Only people who need to take steroids should be given any.
So if your doctor says that you need to take steroids ask them why ?
Because as I’ve seen, there is a widespread tendency of inappropriate steroid treatment. And only because of this we are seeing mucormycosis in india and nowhere else.
It Isn’t that the other countries do not have mucor.
So in the document that we prepared we wrote that only if the oxygen saturation falls below 90.
Than Steroid Should be given
Only after dropping below 90% , we consider it to be changing from moderate to severe. Only then is steroid treatment started.
But those are people overusing steroids are also taking it when it’s above 90%
It prescribed even at 99% saturation. when It’s a completely normal level.
Other than steroid overuse and diabetes the new information that’s coming in is that.
Overusing antibiotics and inhaling steam can also increase the chances of black fungus infection.
In Kerala India 21 patients of Black Fungus there find that all those patients had used antibiotics.and only 14% of the patients had NOT used steroids. And 21% of patients did not have diabetes.
This proves that there can be several other potential causes apart from steroids and diabetes. That are causing the black fungus infections.
And the doctor concluded with three potential causes of the infection according to him first’ overuse of antibiotics.
Because antibiotics apparently increase the risk of fungal infection.
Second, taking zinc supplements. Fungi can grow easily in a zinc-rich environment. And third, excessive steam inhalation. Many people were sending whatsapp forwards saying that
steam should be inhaled.
And that it will reduce the chances of getting a Black fungus infection.
And this was a treatment procedure of COVID-19 as per the whatsapp University.
These aren’t true.
In fact you inhale steam, first, it increases the moisture in your body.
And for Fungus to grow, moisture and humidity provide a good environment. And second, the steam is so hot that when you inhale it it can cause burns inside the body.
Now, setting aside Black fungus,
After black Fungus there are now news reports of white fungus. And after white fungus, just the other day I heard news reports on yellow fungus.
And what about them?
Are white fungus and yellow fungus new diseases that are cropping up?
And you know recently our AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria says that all these name’s black fungus, white fungus, yellow fungus are creating unnecessary confusion. These diseases aren’t of different types neither are they caused by different reasons. All these diseases are because of fungus and the reasons for these infections are very similar.
Your weakened immune system. It is not even that the fungi are of different colours. That one’s a white Fungus and the other yellow. They are simply named based on the symptoms. As a symptom of Black Fungus, this area becomes black in the patients.
What happens in the patients who have white fungus infections is that their tongue often becomes white.
Or white patches are seen in their oral cavities and food pipes.
What is White FUNGUS?
Aspergillus is known as known as white fungus. And you might’ve seen aspergillus as a mould on bread.
The Fungus that you’ve seen growing on bread is aspergillus. Immunocompetent people may also get infected with it. Allergic Bronchopulmonary and aspergillosis are the same.
Second, ears and eyes may also get infected with it.
So, what is the mortality rate of healthy people infected by this?
Mortality is very low in healthy people because
If you consider all the aspergillus infections
Most of the people will get well. And even without treatment, they may get well.
If it is a superficial infection.
But if they get systemic infections then the mortality is around 20%-40%.
And that happens in immunocompromised people
Shall the same precautions be taken for this?
Maintaining hygiene,etc.steriods, first and foremost,steroids.
Only the appropriate usage of steroids.
Steroids should only be taken when absolutely necessary.
It is important to know that when this all these diseases that we’re seeing now they aren’t caused by unique factors.
In the case of white Fungus too, infection is caused after being inhaled when you breathe.
Only the areas getting infected differ and the symptoms are a bit different.
And the mortality rate differs a little bit too.
And finally, it is also important to know
That all these fungal infections they aren’t contagious as per the information provided till now.
so like COVID-19 where, when you get in contact with a COVID-19 patient, the chances of your getting infected increases it happens in COVID-19, but it is not so with these fungal infections.
Prevention tips MUCORMYCOSIS TREATMENT
There is a very famous proverb
“Prevention is better than Cure.”
And this proverb is very valid for these cases.
Try your best to prevent these diseases.
To do this, keep your environmental conditions hygienic. Maintain cleanliness around you.
Especially if there are people around you whose immune systems may already be compromised.
Think about the environmental conditions where fungus generally spread.
When humidity is high.
When the moisture content in the air is high.and the temperature is Higher than the room temperature.
Doesn’t it happen when you keep the food outside the fridge fungus starts growing on it?
Similar environmental conditions should be avoided
If there are immunocompromised people around.
Additionally, do not use steroids without the prescription of a doctor.
We talked about it in the article on home treatment of COVID
When I started naming steroids
That you shouldn’t take them without a doctor’s prescription.
Especially if there are diabetic people. Or if you have any other pre-existing condition.
It’s side effects can be very harmful. But in reality , such cases are seen today
Where not only are steroids overused but people are also using steroids in cases where the level of oxygen saturation is absolutely normal. Apart from this, for the patients on oxygen therapy they need to ensure that the water in the humidifier is regularly cleaned and refilled.
And maintain personal hygiene properly.
Wash your hands properly and timely. And maintain proper hygiene.
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