Black Fungus Symptoms, treatment, prevention: Mucormycosis, a rare but serious fungal infection, is being detected relatively frequently in Covid-19 patients across India. The disease, also known colloquially as “black fungus”, was made notifiable by the government on Thursday, making it mandatory for states to report both suspected and confirmed cases to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
What is mucormycosis or ‘black fungus’? Who is at risk? What are the symptoms and treatment? Take a look.
Who is at risk from Black fungus or mucormycosis?
Infection is caused by mucormycetes, a group of molds/fungus abundant in environment. It mainly affects sinuses/lungs of people with health problems or on medicines which lower body’s ability to fight germs/sickness, including those with diabetes, cancer, organ transplant, hospitalized or recovering Covid-19 patients (treated with steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs)
What are the symptoms of mucormycosis or black fungus?
Pain, redness around eyes and/or nose, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomits, and altered mental status.
Warning signs: Toothache, loosening of teeth, blurred or double vision with pain, sinusitis (nasal blockade or blackish / bloody discharge), cheekbone or one-sided facial pain ow swelling, blackish discoloration of nose bridge/palate, thrombosis, skin lesion, chest pain.
How can you prevent black fungus?
Use masks if you are visiting dusty construction sites. Wear shoes, long trousers, long-sleeved shirts and gloves while gardening. Maintain personal hygiene (scrub bath). Control diabetes, monitor blood glucose level after Covid-19 treatment discharge, reduce steroid use, discontinue immunomodulating drugs, hydrate adequately.
What is the treatment for mucormycosis or black fungus ?
Some cases require surgery. For others, respiratory-tract-fluid samples may be tested, tissue biopsy or CT scan (lungs/sinuses) may be conducted. Normal saline (IV) infusion is given before 4-6 weeks of antifungal Amphotericin B dose (3-4 mg per kg of body weight per day), which is out of stock supply with pharmacies/distributors. (With Inputs The Indian Express)