Black Fungus: Symptoms, Prevention, Misconception All Details Here.

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Black Fungus: Symptoms, Prevention, Misconception All Details Here.

Pack fungus or mucormycosis, a normally rare disease that has a mortality rate of 50% with some only saved by removing an eye or jaw bone, has infected nearly 5,000 recovered and recovering Covid-19 patients in India. Doctors have linked it to use of steroids to treat coronavirus patients, with diabetics being more at risk.

On Thursday, the Centre directed all states and Union territories to declare black fungus, stating that the infection is leading to mortality amongst Covid-19 patients. The Health Ministry has asked states and UTs to list under the ‘Epidemic Diseases Act’ the fatal fungal infection.

Symptoms of Black Fungus

Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta Hospital in Gurugram, said that the first symptoms of mucormycosis are pain/stuffiness in the nose, inflammation on cheeks, fungus patch inside the mouth and swelling in the eyelid. It requires aggressive medical treatment, he added.

Does it Happen Due to Consumption of Raw Food?

AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said that there are a lot of false messages going around that it can happen due to eating raw food but there is no data to suggest that. “It also has nothing to do with type of O2 being used. It is also being reported in people in home isolation,” Guleria added.

What is Mucormycosis

Mucormycosis is a very rare infection. It is caused by exposure to mucor mould which is commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables. “It is ubiquitous and found in soil and air and even in the nose and mucus of healthy people,” Dr Akshay Nair, a Mumbai-based eye surgeon, was quoted as saying by BBC. It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immuno-compromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/Aids.

How to Prevent Black Fungus Outbreak:

Dr Guleria said, “We have to see at prevention of this outbreak. Three factors are very important — good control of blood sugar levels, those on steroids must monitor blood sugar levels regularly, and be careful about when to give steroids and their dosage.”

“Steroid use has become much more in second Covid wave, and steroids given when not indicated in mild or early disease can cause a secondary infection. Those given high dose of steroids when not indicated can lead to high blood sugar levels and a high chance of mucormycosis,” Guleria further said.

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