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Black fungus: All you need to know
27 Jan' 21

Black fungus: All you need to know

 

In the midst of the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new sickness has developed as an epidemic in areas of India. Mucormycosis, often known as the Black Fungus, is an aggressive, severe, and rare fungal infection that is affecting a lot of COVID-19 patients. The bulk of the infections have occurred in COVID-19 patients who are recovering or have recovered. It has added to the country's already heavy burdens, as we had only recently begun to comprehend how to deal with the current pandemic.  

What is the Black Fungus, and what does it do?  
Mucormycosis, often known as the Black Fungus, is an uncommon fungal disease caused by a mould that grows on decaying and rotten organic matter. 
Mucormycetes is the fungus mould that causes the infection, and it affects the sinus and eye region when a person is exposed to it. The virus primarily affects people who have a weak immune system or are taking medication. When the body is unable to battle the illness on its own, the infection spreads.  
 
How can it get into the body and cause infection?  
Mucormycosis is a fungus illness spread by the wind that can be found in the air, water, and even food. It can enter the body through airborne fungus spores or, less usually, through open wounds and cuts. When breathed, it infects the sinuses, causing swelling, displacement, and even blindness in the eyes. Muscle weakness and paralysis are also common symptoms. The fungus can also infect the lungs, causing breathing difficulty, bloody coughing, and chest pain. The fungus spreads quickly and attacks the lungs quickly. If the fungus enters the body through open wounds, it can spread across the surface, causing painful inflammations of the skin and underlying tissues. Ulcers on the body can sometimes turn into blisters, resulting in tissue loss. The fungus can infect the intestines, heart chambers, or kidneys in extremely uncommon cases. The severity of the infection is mostly determined by the diseased organ.  
 
COVID-19 and the Black Fungus have a link. 
The Black Fungus infection spreads in persons whose immune systems have been damaged and are unable to fight off the infection. Immunosuppressants are medications like steroids and antibiotics that are given to COVID-19. As a result, they are more vulnerable to the virus spreading. As a result, the number of Black Fungus cases among COVID-19 patients and recovered patients is increasing. The infection is exacerbated by the overuse of steroids and other immunosuppressants, as well as a lack of hygiene.  
 
Symptoms 
Symptoms of respiratory problems include:  
  • Congestion in the nose or sinuses  
  • Fever Cough Shortness of breath  
  • Pain in the chest  
  • Headaches 
Symptoms of skin problems include:  
  • Swellings that are red and unpleasant  
  • Tissues of the skin have turned black
  • On the skin, there are ulcers and blisters
 These are a few of the more typically observed signs and symptoms. Bloody coughing, toothache, bloody vomit, loosening of teeth, fuzzy eyesight, and weariness are some of the other symptoms.  
 
Precautions and treatment  
The Black Fungus is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person. However, because Mould is naturally prevalent in the air, it is still vital to use extreme caution. Despite the fact that it is innocuous to those with a healthy immune system, it may be lethal to those whose systems are unable to fight the infection owing to poor health or pre-existing disorders.
 
It is critical to maintaining good cleanliness while in the hospital to avoid coming into touch with mould. The oxygen giving apparatus must be sterilised on a regular basis, and steroids must be used sparingly. During the therapy of COVID-19 patients, steroids are required. However, because of the drug's immune-suppressing characteristics, it should not be used in excess. Personal cleanliness is necessary for addition to keeping proper hygiene with external equipment and instruments.
 
Taking care of your skin and treating yourself to scrub baths can help you get rid of any residual dead skin and grime that the fungus can feed on. Whenever you're in a dusty or mouldy environment, such as a construction site or a garden, wear a mask. Because micromycetes thrive in soil that contains organic matter, it's advisable to stay away from it as much as possible. When working outside, wear long sleeves, pants, and gloves, and avoid working in the garden if you have any open wounds or previous health issues.  
 
The Black Fungus is a terrible and rare fungal infection that cannot be cured at home. Antifungal medications must be taken as directed to treat the infection. Surgery is not required if the condition is detected early enough. However, if the infection is not detected in a timely manner, surgery to remove the infected to dead tissue cells since the treatment is only effective after these cells have been removed. 
 
COVID-19 infections before and after  
Although the fungus has predominantly afflicted COVID-19 and recovering patients, it can infect anyone with a compromised immune system. COVID-19 can infect people who have never been infected with the virus or who have recovered from it. Susceptibility is due to a weakened immune system as well as pre-existing health issues.
 
People with high blood pressure are urged to be cautious and protect themselves from any possible exposure to the fungus. Those with uncontrolled diabetes (blood sugar levels of 700-800, a condition known medically as diabetic ketoacidosis) are also at risk from the Black Fungus. 

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