What is Black Fungus and White Fungus?
Mucormycosis or black fungus infection is caused by a fungus that produces black spots on infected cell clusters. Candida or white fungus infection is caused by a fungus that produces white spots on infected cell clusters.
How does this infection spread?
This infection occurs through inhalation or ingestion of fungal spores present in the air. Sometimes it also reaches the body due to wounds on the skin or any mental trauma.
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Where does it come from?
Like other microbes such as bacteria or viruses, fungus is also present in the environment. It is usually present on the ground, in the air and in the human nose and its mucus.
Does it spread through the air?
Yes, since its spores are present in the air, it is impossible to stop it from spreading.
Does fungus spread from people to people?
No, fungal infection is not transmitted through contact with an infected person.
Can we all get this infection?
No, since microbes like bacteria, viruses or fungi are present in the air, we cannot prevent them from entering our body. But not everyone gets infected by it. It depends on how much we are protected, that means how strong our immune system is to prevent the fungus from spreading in our body. A healthy body starts fighting the microbes as soon as they reach the body and does not allow them to grow in the body. In this way, if a person’s immune system is strong, then he will not get this infection.
Who can get the infection?
The person whose body’s immune system is weak is at risk of infection. People who are over the age of 60, or who have severe uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, COPD, asthma, tuberculosis, or people with immunosuppressive therapy Such as those who are taking steroids, those who have a disease like cancer, or those who have had an organ transplant, are taking antibiotics for a long time, are in the hospital for a long time, lack of nutrition in the body, use tobacco, bidi- People who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, such people can get infected by it.
Can every patient with covid get infected with black and white fungus?
No, black and white fungus is a very rare infection and not all patients with covid get it.
Why is this infection spreading rapidly among covid patients?
Due to Kovid, the immune system of people’s body becomes weak, so bacteria and fungus get a chance to reach their body. Due to the use of drugs like steroids in the treatment of covid, the number of lymphocytes in the body is reduced which is a type of white blood cell that protects our body against bacteria, virus and fungus. These drugs make the patient’s immune system strong, due to which their life is saved. A decrease in the number of lymphocytes increases the chance of fungal infection in patients suffering from Kovid. A patient whose immune system is not working properly can get both mucormycosis and candida infection.
Antibiotics, which are used to prevent secondary bacterial infection, also inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria that can protect our body from fungus.
Excessive use of zinc can also be the reason because it works to increase fungal infection.
Long-term use of industrial oxygen in the body can also be the reason for this.
The use of steam creates a favorable environment for the growth of fungus in the mouth and nose.
Should these drugs be stopped?
No, these medicines are necessary to save lives from Kovid.
How can I prevent fungal infections while taking these medicines?
Medicines should be taken only under the advice and strict supervision of RMP doctor. The RMP doctor knows which medicine should be given to the patient, when and in what quantity and how often. If the patient takes these drugs on his own or on the advice of someone and if it is misused then that patient can become infected and he may also have other problems.
Are any natural things like decoction also responsible for this?
If any item is taken in excess quantity then it causes damage. The decoction also contains substances with anti-bacterial and steroid properties. Therefore, along with English medicines, they can also cause harm. Many such natural items are rich in zinc and iron which increase the growth of fungus.
Can this infection happen without covid?
Yes. This infection can happen to any person whose body’s immune system is weak, whether he has covid or not.
Is Black Fungus Infection Deadly?
Yes, mucormycosis or black fungus is a rare but deadly disease.
What are the symptoms of black fungus disease?
The signs and symptoms vary depending on which area of the body it has affected.
Rhino orbital cerebral mucormycosis
This infection occurs when a person inhales the bacteria of the fungus inside the body through breathing. It infects the nose, eye circles/eye pits, oral cavity and even the brain. The causes of infection include headache, nasal congestion, runny nose (greenish phlegm), sinus pain, bleeding from the nose, swelling of the face, loss of sensation in the face and change in skin color.
This occurs when the bacteria of this fungus have been inhaled and have reached the respiratory system. It infects the lungs. Due to this there may be fever, chest pain, phlegm and blood may come out in the phlegm. This fungus can also infect the intestine, skin and other organs. But the most common of these is rhino cerebral mucormycosis.
How to know if there is a black fungus infection?
Doubts arise from the clinical symptoms and later tests like MRI are also done. To confirm this infection, a biopsy of the patient has to be done. In this, a part of the tissue is cut from the patient’s body and it is viewed under a microscope so that black fungus can be detected in it.
Is there a cure for this?
Yes, it is treatable if detected early and anti-fungal medication like amphotericin and posaconazole is used. In some patients, it is also necessary to undergo surgery, in which the affected area is removed.
Is White Fungus Infection Deadly?
No, candidiasis or white fungus is not fatal.
Is there a cure for white fungus infection?
Yes, there is a cure for candidiasis or white fungus and the medicines available for this are not expensive either.
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How to protect yourself from this?
Wear a clean mask. This is the most effective prevention as it will prevent the fungus from entering your body through your nose and mouth. Clean and change your masks frequently.
-Clean your wound, skin cut or chipped area immediately with water.
Take the treatment of Kovid only from an RMP doctor. Do not take any medicine yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of quack. Do not steam for a long time or drink the decoction for a long time.
(Dr. Niket Rai is MBBS & MD and affiliated to Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi.)