As India struggles with the second wave of COVID-19, infected patients are also dealing with a rare fungal infection called Black Fungus or Mucormycosis. And now, alarmingly, cases of White Fungus have also been reported from Bihar. According to health experts, White Fungus infection is more dangerous than black fungus as it affects the lungs along with other parts like the kidney, stomach, skin, nails, mouth, brain and more. Though a little information has been shared about White Fungus, more information by the experts is still awaited.
In March, most number of Covid-19-associated mucormycosis cases were from India, which are increasing on a daily basis now. But it is still unclear what is Black Fungus and how it is linked with the Coronavirus? Let’s understand the same in more detail.
Formerly known as Zygomycosis, this disease is caused by the fungi that belong to the ‘Mucorales’ fungal family, which is usually found in the environment. The fungus is also associated with decaying organic subjects like vegetables and fruits. This fungus creates an infection in humans, which is called Rhizopus Oryzae.
In the laboratory, these fungi can grow rapidly and create a brown-black fuzzy appearance, that’s why the name Black Fungus.
Fungi in the Mucorale family infected patients with the impaired or weak immune system and damaged tissues. The impaired immune system is also caused by the use of drugs and medicines that suppress the system. People can contract Black Fungus generally in three ways: Inhaling spores, swallowing spores, or spores that contaminate the wounds. The most common of all is the inhalation of all as people breathe in many fungi each day. The infection, however, is a rare possibility in inhalation of the immune systems and lungs are in healthy condition.
As patients in hospitals are being treated for severe COVID-19, the spores can grow in the sinuses and airways that invade the tissues as well. The spores can manifest in the lungs as well, though the most common site for the infection to grow is nose and sinuses. Since COVID-19 patients struggle with a weak immune system, spores in the nose can also spread in the eyes and brain that can lead to blindness, headaches, or seizures.
The study suggested that people with obesity and diabetes tend to develop severe infections due to COVID-19. And in order to recover, such patients are likely to receive drugs like corticosteroids for a better recovery which increases the risk of Mucormycosis.
The susceptibility of fungal infection also increases with the virus that causes COVID-10 by damaging airway tissues and blood vessels.
Many states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Telangana have declared Black Fungus as a noticeable disease under the act of Epidemic disease.
More than 200 cases of Black Fungus and four cases of White Fungus have been reported in India so far. Will India declare another epidemic as the fungus cases rise? How will India and other parts of the world fight this infection? To know the latest updates on the same and other bulletins around the world, keep reading AlShorts, short news in 30 seconds.