In the time of pandemic where we are not able to fight COVID 19 yet, there are new types and other diseases coming up every day. Scientists have recently discovered a deadly one called Black Fungus. All across the country, new cases are being registered every single day.
Since the breakout of COVID last year, Maharashtra reported 52 cases of black fungus whereas in the latest report of COVID second wave, it has drastically increased to a significant figure of 1500.
Doctors are facing new challenges every minute and now this new infection has become the matter of concern because it is affecting the COVID survivors. Scientists and doctors are trying their best to keep everyone safe in this time of difficulty.
As an individual, it is one’s responsibility to stay updated and well aware about the current situation. To make you more aware about this fungal infection, we have collected some information for you.
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What is Black Fungus?
Black fungus which is also known as mucormycosis, is a recent observation in Covid patients. It is most commonly affecting the patients who are primarily diabetic, suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure, HIV or those who have weak immunity.
Patients who have been on humidified oxygen have also been observed to be suffering from the same in few cases. This black fungus usually occurs in places with high moisture like you must have witnessed fungus on bread and chapati if left for a longer period.
As no one has a full proof cure for Covid 19 yet, doctors are bound to give steroids to the patients to combat the same. In some cases, with a patient having history of the above mentioned disease, it is backfiring and resulting into black fungus even after recovery from the coronavirus.
Recently, Dr. Randeep Gulleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has requested doctors treating covid patients to reduce the usage of steroids as black fungus is seen as secondary infection majorly in covid suffering or even recovered patients.
It is very important to identify black fungus in its early stage because once the fungus has infected the larger portion of the lungs; it is very difficult to save the patients’ life. In most of the cases, black fungus is resulting into fatalities.
Early symptoms can include a light brown discharge from nose, cough and gradually can lead to heavy cough, vomiting, blood in cough, swelling on face on and around the nose, redness in eyes, blurred vision, decolouration or black patch over the nose and difficulty in breathing.
Dexamethasone, a medicine which is commonly used to treat critical covid 19 patients, is also being a reason to cause Mucormycosis (especially in diabetic and high blood pressure patients).
This infection can spread from nose to eyes to even the brain and once it reaches the brain, it is very difficult to save the life. In some cases, the infection got so severely spread in the eye that doctors had to remove the eyes of the patient.
First of all, we need to keep in mind that prevention is the cure. While sharing their experiences, doctors said that initially patients see these symptoms as normal. It results in reporting to the hospital late. Till the time patients realize that this is not a common infection, the fungus has already spread widely in the body.
It is very important to check the sugar level regularly at home and also post recovery from covid, the patients need to be attentive to the regular check-up and symptoms.
As a preventive measure, doctors are suggesting for anti-fungal intravenous injections. When and how much dosage needs to be given to the patient entirely depends upon the physical condition of the patients. This is the only way available to prevent this fungus from spreading in diabetic patients who are covid positive as well.
How it is different from Skin based fungal infection?
Skin based fungal infections occur with lumps, clusters, blemishes and decolouration of skin whereas black fungus is an internal fungal infection. While, doctors and scientists are at work to find a permanent cure to it, let us also follow the discipline required to prevent this.
Here are a few pointers to take care:
- Try to stay home as much as possible.
- Opt for work from home, if possible and available.
- COVID is affecting everyone regardless of the age; however give more attention to kids and elderly.
- In case of black fungus, individuals suffering already from diabetes and high blood pressure need to be extra careful.
- Include immunity booster foods like pistachio, cottage cheese, black chickpeas, and basil in your diet. Regular steam with neem and giloy leaves in it can also help.
- In case of any symptom, do not shy away from seeing a doctor.
- Prefer online consultation initially and keep yourself updated.