Looks like the COVID-19 woes don’t seem to end any time soon in India. While people in India are currently trying to get a hold of the second wave and fighting it, there arises another after-effect of the deadly virus in the form of Mucormycosis, also known as the Black Fungus.
It has currently affected hundreds of COVID-19 recovered patients, especially the ones with severe diabetes and poor immune system. While cases of black fungus were also reported in other countries like the US and the UK, the numbers found in India were far more significant comparatively.
The Black fungus cases so far were reported in states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Delhi triggering an additional panic among the people of India.
If you are wondering what exactly it is, it is a group of fungus or molds called mucormycetes that is usually found in the soil and decaying organic matter. Read on to know everything about it.
What is Black Fungus?
The molds or black fungus are found almost everywhere in the environment, especially in decayed organic matter like soil, decayed wood, paper, and others.
Black Fungus is a rare fungal infection that is triggered by this mucormycetes mold. This usually causes the darkening of the skin or crust formation near the nose, cheeks, and eyes.
Signs and Symptoms
While this is a rare disease, this is currently prevalent in COVID-19 recovered patients with severe diabetes and compromised immune systems. Some of its symptoms include:
- Blackness near the nose or on the nose bridge
- Bloody or blackish mucus from the nose
- Chest pain
- Coughing blood
- Crusts formation
- Darkening of skin
- Hazy or blurred vision or eye pain
- Nasal blockage
- Teeth ache or loose tooth
This disease can be fatal and life-threatening if not acted upon immediately. The fungus can spread over to body organs like the lungs, eyes, and even brain and pose a serious threat to the patient. So, we urge you to immediately consult a healthcare professional as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms.
Who can get Health Black Fungus?
While it is prominently seen in COVID-19 recovered patients, not all COVID-19 recoveries are at risk of developing this condition. Certain people with health conditions and whose immunity is severely compromised during COVID-19 recovery are currently being affected by this black fungus. Certain people are more prone to be affected by this condition, like:
- People with diabetes and are unable to maintain stable blood sugar levels
- People with comorbidities and have taken immunosuppressant steroids for an extended duration during the COVID-19 recovery
- People treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for an extended time
- People who’ve taken antifungal medication to prevent infections
- People with a vulnerable and weakened immune system due to pre-existing health conditions or who have recently undergone an organ transplant or other life-threatening treatments
Treatment for Black Fungus / Mucormycosis
As mentioned above, any symptoms or signs of the black fungus must be immediately checked with a healthcare professional as it can be life-threatening. The spread can be easily prevented if it is detected and acted upon early.
The first step for its treatment as soon as it is confirmed is to take anti-fungal medication as prescribed by your healthcare professional. While taking medication orally will suffice in the earlier stages, it might need to be sent invasively through an injection if delayed. This medication will slow down the spread of the fungus in the body and to other organs, and also curb its destructive growth.
Further, medication might be given for other pre-existing health conditions like diabetes. If the disease is at a further stage, surgical procedures will be employed to remove the fungal infection from the affected body parts. And finally, do keep an eye for fungal recurrence even after recovering.
How to Prevent Black Fungus:
While simple steps can go a long way in preventing any health condition or disorder, you also must ensure that you follow proper hygiene and health practices strictly in these dreadful times.
- Ensure good personal and surrounding hygiene
- Clean your hands as well as your complete body and clothing as soon as you enter your home after work or if you had to meet people outside
- Wear face masks and shields at all times, especially while visiting polluted and dirty places
- Maintain hygiene and remember to wash hands properly after doing certain activities like gardening or cleaning up molds in your home
- Maintain good health by following a proper and balanced diet, and also ensure your blood sugar levels are in check
If you notice any sign of COVID-19 or the Black Fungus or any health condition for that matter, we urge you to contact us immediately and we will connect you with an expert. Remember, delaying any health matter can lead to deadly consequences in the times we live in.