Everything you need to know about Black Fungus: Symptoms, precautions | Covid-19

Where India is still fighting covid-19 disease, another new disease that has started spreading its havoc in India. This disease called black fungus has killed many people in many states of the country.

So, let’s see, what is black fungus? Why Covid-19 and diabetes patients are more at risk, what are its symptoms and what preconceptions should you take. This disease has a mortality rate of about 46%-96% even with the treatment. So, let’s see everything about it.

Mucormycosis or Black Fungus
Mucormycosis, Black Fungus Credit: BBC

What is Black fungus?

Black fungus is known as Mucormycosis, prevalent in immunocompromised individuals such as those who are recovering from covid, or those who are suffering from cancer, HIV, or uncontrollable diabetes. 

Mucormycosis, which was previously known as zygomycosis, is a dangerous but rare fungal infection. It is caused by a group of molds known as Mucormycetes. These fungi are usually found in the soil, dead vegetables, or animal matter. These fungi live throughout the environment. 

In this fungal disease, the fungus reaches the host, mostly in patients who are recovering from Covid-19 or have Covid and have uncontrollable diabetes. Once they enter the sinuses, they involve the sinus cavity and the nose. It can infect the eyeballs and also can go intracranial and can reach the brain if not diagnosed within time.

Why Covid patients are at high risk?

Covid-19 attacks our immune system and makes it vulnerable to mild infections also.Doctors use a drug called Dexamethasone on covid patients. This drug prevents the excess production of antibodies in our body.  And, when a patient gets serious, doctors give him/her various drugs and steroids, which further weaken his/her immune system. And black fungus takes advantage of it. 

According to some doctors, the reason behind the abnormally high number of black fungal cases is steroid use. Steroids are helpful for the treatment of Covid-19 but at the correct time and right amount of doses. But, the biggest problem is that many people using high doses of steroids, sometimes even without medical supervision.

For you: False Negative Results in RT-PCR test: What you should do?

Symptoms of Black Fungus

1. Nasal or sinus congestion: If you have nasal symptoms like nasal discharge, which may be bloody. 

2. Swelling in one side of the face: Facial pain, numbness on the face, or headache. 

3. Black lesions on the Nose Bridge and/or upper hard palate inside the mouth

4. Fever: If you have a fever with all other symptoms, then you need to go to the doctor.

It can also invade the eyes and can lead to swelling in the eyes, drooping of the eyes, bulging of the eyes, lack of movements of the eyes because of the involvement of the muscles and the nerves which are coming to innervate the entire eyeball. And, if the entire eyeball is affected, the person can’t move the eyes up or down, right or left, causing double vision.

Also Read: How Mumbai’s Model to fight Corona saved many lives | War rooms?

Precautions:

The Covid-19 sufferer should control hyperglycemia by constantly monitoring their blood glucose level post-discharge. Diabetes patients should also observe their blood glucose levels. Doctors should use antibiotics, antifungals, and steroids judiciously, and Hospitals should use fresh, sterile water for humidifiers while oxygen therapy. Doctors have been advised not to miss warning indications and symptoms and not lose critical time to begin treatment. 

Our immune system can fight this disease, So, we don’t have to be afraid of it. We have to be observant, and we can win this war against this fungal infection and also against Covid-19.

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