While Covid19 cases are increasing rapidly, government and health experts are gearing up for the third wave of coronavirus along with treating people. The B-1617 variant of coronavirus, first identified in India, has already been classified as a 'variant of concern' at the global level by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Along with this, reports of a mysterious infection, 'black fungus' affecting COVID patients are doing rounds. Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, can turn dangerous if left untreated, doctors have warned. The re-emergence of the rare deadly fungal infection among Covid-19 patients has caused major concerns. It has been found across hospitals in Delhi, Pune and Ahmedabad.
The fungal infection is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment. Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body's ability to fight germs and sickness. While there have been more than 200 cases of black fungus infection, it is also reported in people who have recovered from covid.
Symptoms of Black Fungus aka mucormycosis
- Facial Deformity
- Facial pain
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of vision or pain in eyes
- Altered mental state, confusion
- Swelling in cheeks and eyes
- Toothache, loosening of teeth
- Black crusts in the nose
Dos and Don'ts for black fungus in COVID patients
- Do not avoid the signs and symptoms of black fungus infection. It can be very dangerous if it reaches the brain.
- Control hyperglycemia
- Monitor blood glucose level post-COVID-19 discharge and also in diabetics
- Use steroid judiciously – correct timing, correct dose and duration
- Use antibiotics/antifungals judiciously
- Do not consider all the cases with a blocked nose as cases of bacterial sinusitis, particularly in the context of immunosuppression and/or COVID-19 patients on immunomodulators
- Do not lose crucial time to initiate treatment for mucormycosis
People with diabetes, those on steroids and humidified oxygen for a long time, and Covid patients with pre-existing comorbidities are the most at risk. Others include patients like those post chemotherapies, those on long-term immunosuppressive drugs.
Also, are those who have taken the covid vaccine, will they survive this black fungal infection? There is no relation between taking the vaccine and fungal infection. If one has taken a vaccine shot, they are likely to have a mild COVID infection which won't require steroids and hence they are unlikely to have the black fungus.