Cases of black fungus are increasing in India among patients who are having COVID or have recovered from COVID. This infection affects sinuses, lungs and brain and can be life threatening in patients with co morbidities.
Mucormycosis – Black Fungus
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection mainly affecting people with medical health problems that reduce their ability to fight environmental pathogens. People with co-morbidities like malignancy, transplant therapy, voriconazole therapy, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, or prolonged ICU stay can get predisposed to Mucormycosis.
Symptoms of infection include pain or redness around the eyes & nose, fever, coughing, headache, shortness of breath, bloody vomit, altered mental status.
Do’s and Don’ts
One should have control hyperglycemia. People should monitor blood glucose levels post COVID discharge and diabetics. One should use steroids carefully. Use clean, sterile water for humidifiers during oxygen therapy. Use antibiotics/antifungals wisely.
Do not miss out on warning signs and symptoms. Don’t consider all cases of blocked nose as cases of bacterial sinusitis, especially in the cases of immunosuppression or COVID patients on immunomodulators. don’t hesitate in seeking aggressive investigations as appropriate for detecting fungal etiology. Don’t lose crucial time to initiate treatment for black fungus infection.
With the increase in number of cases of fungal infection, the Union Health Ministry has decided to increase the production of antifungal injection Amphotericin B for the treatment of patients with fungal infection. Medicine supply will be boosted by extra imports and an increase in domestic production. Ministry has asked State Government to increase awareness about black fungus.
“The hospitals have been asked to use filtered water in an oxy flow meter. Similarly, ICUs should be sanitized properly. With discharge papers, the hospital should provide a pamphlet of Mucormycosis related to symptoms, cure and preventive measures,” said Health Minister.
Cases of back fungus will also increase with the increase in the number of cases of COVID19.