In India, COVID-19 has resulted in a rise in cases of a potentially fatal fungal infection called Mucormycosis or Black Fungus. The infection is dangerous and at present treatment is also provided for it in the Covid hospitals in Hyderabad. Two kinds of Black Fungus infection have been reported in the coronavirus patients namely- Rhino-Orbito-Cerebral Mucormycosis (ROCM) and Pulmonary Mucormycosis. It needs to be noted that the prevalence of both these types has been reported in patients who have already recovered from Coronavirus as well as those undergoing Covid-19 treatment currently.
Doctors believe black fungus may be being triggered by the use of steroids. Even though steroids reduce inflammation in the lungs for COVID-19, it can also reduce immunity and shoot up blood sugar levels. And, diabetes not only increases a person’s risk of severe COVID-19 but also provides conditions in which fungal infections can thrive.
What Happens in Black Fungus?
According to the CDC, black fungus is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These are found in soil and organic matter, like compost piles. It typically affects people with health problems such as COVID-19 or those who take medicines that can lower the body’s immune system’s ability to fight infection. This type of fungal infection is known to affect the sinuses or lungs after the fungal spores are inhaled from the air.
Symptoms of Mucormycosis
The Black fungus symptoms depend on where in the body the fungus is growing. It mainly shows some common symptoms, including excessive runny nose. You might even feel swelling and pain in your eyes as you come in contact with the infection. In some cases, eyelid loss and blurred vision have also been seen.
How to Detect Black Fungus Infection?
In order to detect black fungus infection, the COVID recovered patients should look out for the danger signs such as abnormal black discharge or blood from the nose. And, nasal blockage, headache or eye pain, double vision, loss of vision, difficulty to open and close the eye, prominence of the eye. Facial numbness or tingling sensation and difficulty in chewing or opening mouth are also indications of black fungus infection.
Does Black Fungus Spread?
The disease is not considered to be contagious. This means that it cannot spread from contact between humans or animals. However, it can easily spread from the fungal spores present in the air or in the environment.
Can Black Fungus be Detected in Blood Test?
As of now, nothing much is revealed about whether black fungus can be detected in blood test or not. But, if we discuss about the type of tests that can detect such fungal infection, then, in the case of the ROCM infection type, patients must undergo the MRI PNS. And, for the pulmonary mucormycosis, patients simply need to undergo a plain CT scan.
What is the Treatment for Black Fungus?
Medical professionals have stressed the need to control hyperglycemia, and monitor blood glucose level after discharge following COVID-19 treatment. Doctors have said that it is of utmost importance to control diabetes, reduce steroid use, and discontinue antiviral drugs for COVID -19.
Black Fungus is a rare disease. However, it can be harmful. This disease can be treated effectively with the antifungal medicine. But, in some cases, it can require surgery which can lead to eventual loss of the upper jaw and sometimes even an eye. Therefore, it is important to maintain personal hygiene, wear a mask while venturing out, and wear long clothes to have less exposure to skin, to reduce the chances of the spread of the disease.
For more information related to Black Fungus, you must get in touch with a medical professional.