Black Fungus Infection: Panic Rising Among Covid Patients

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Mucormycosis, a relatively rare fungal infection, is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. Image: Shutterstock

In continuation of the Covid-19 epidemic, the black fungus infection has given rise to new panic among Corona patients. At the inception of the infection, it has reached the level of a terrible epidemic across India. Those who have already recovered from the corona or are moving towards recovery are also affected. Even those who do not have covid are not out of risk yet. With 50 death rete, scientists are worried about its severity in the future. The final stages of the disease are unlikely to be cured, so it is important to be aware along with the correct knowledge in advance.

What is this black fungus?

Black fungus is a fungus called mucor, which grows in a dark wet environment, humid and temperate climate. They can easily grow in any organics, such as perishable fruits and vegetables. It can be found in soil, plants, fertilizers, and even in the noses and coughs of healthy people. 30 to 50 percent humidity is favorable for them. However, their growth is less below 4 degrees Celsius.

The fungi look a lot like tree stalks that are scattered all around. They have a kind of black spores or fine cocoon-like germs that cannot be seen with the naked eye. But if many are born in a certain place then it can be seen with the naked eye. These spores are basically their reproductive organs. These swell and float in the air like pollen. They are not damaged even by the sun's ultraviolet rays.

How does a black fungus infection occur?

The harmful condition caused by the mucor fungus in the human body is called black fungus infection. In medical terms, it is called 'Mucormycosis'.

According to an internationally renowned scientist Dr. Bijan Kumar Sheel, the black fungus enters the human body through the nose while breathing. The spores of the black fungus cannot harm a healthy person by entering into it while floating in the air. But when the immune system is low, they begin to reproduce in the human lungs. It can then spread to different parts of the body and cause death.

It is only natural that the body's immune system, damaged by coronavirus, needs at least some time to recover. During this time, the body is completely exposed to any viruses or bacteria. In that sense, the coronavirus can cause many new complications even after recovery. From mental illness to the heart or brain - anything can happen. And black fungus infection is one of them.

The reason behind this infection

Needless to say, the reason behind this infection is the creation of a damp environment in which black fungus can grow. Millions of germs are being born in such favorable conditions, whereas the human body's resistance to disease is gradually declining in adverse conditions. In continuation of this, the human body is completely vulnerable to these germs due to coronavirus infection.

Steroids used to treat coronavirus are responsible for black fungus infections. Doctors prescribe steroids to covid patients before or after referral to the ICU. These giving extra steroids can lead to subsequent fungal infection in the patient’s body. Mushtaq Hossain, a public health expert in Bangladesh, said that doctors should be careful in giving necessary medicines considering the patient’s condition.

The steroid relieves pneumonia in the corona-affected person. When the body's normal immune system becomes active in preventing the coronavirus, the body suffers some complications. Steroids help repair these complications. Meanwhile, it increases the amount of sugar in the blood. Then it reduces the body's resistance to disease. Everyone, who has or does not have diabetes, has these troubles. As a result, patients develop Mucormycosis.

Who are the most at risk?

Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for mucormycosis or black fungus infection. Specially Covid patients including diabetic, HIV positive, cancer, or heart disease patients are at the risk of this infection.

This black fungus easily attacks the lungs of patients with coronavirus because their lungs are moderately weak. It can then spread throughout the body and push the patient to the brink of death.

Symptoms of this infection

- Allergy symptoms may occur in the early stages, such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itching, etc.

- Symptoms of sinusitis may include headaches, runny nose, or bleeding from the nose.

- Acute eye pain is felt in the depths of the eyes, including swelling, burning, or redness of the eyes, drooping of the eyelids, and loss of vision. Many times black sores appear on the skin of the eyelids or the surface of the nose and the cheeks become swollen. Finally, vision may be lost. Tissue erosion problems, such as deformities. The respiratory problem occurs when the lungs are affected.

According to direct practitioners, most infected patients arrive too late to the hospital. There is no way out except to remove the eyes as a result of coming to the hospital with complete loss of sight. Many times both eyes are damaged. In some cases, the jaw bone is removed in order to stop the widespread fungus.

Necessary precautions

The first step is to eliminate all possible environments for the reproduction of black fungus and to provide a healthy environment and food on a large scale.

- Wearing the mask all the time. Do not use a mask more than once.

- Wearing shoes, long trousers, long sleeve shirts, and gloves when using soil (garden), algae, or fertilizer.

- Eating foods rich in vitamin C to prevent black fungus. This is because vitamin C helps the human body make 60-70 percent of the tissue.

- Intravenous amphotericin-B is applied as a quick treatment if Mucormycosis is detected.

- Keep bed sheets as clean as possible for covid patients, even those who are out of the ICU. As well as keeping an eye on the surrounding environment.

- Using moderate doses of steroids with special caution in people at risk. Even those who are recovering from covid should take adequate precautions in giving steroids.

- Practitioners should keep an eye on patients' blood sugar levels even after discharge from the hospital.

- Room humidifiers should be cleaned and disinfected during oxygen therapy.

- Proper use of antibiotics / antifungal drugs should be ensured.

Verdict

As black fungus infection has become a national problem, it is important to address this crisis through appropriate initiatives at the government level. Even if this complication increases only in India, the infection may soon cross the border. Therefore, besides in South Asian countries, proper steps should be taken as soon as possible to prevent this infection worldwide.

  • Coronavirus
  • Covid-19
  • Black Fungus Infection
  • Panic Rising Among Covid Patients
  • Black Fungus
  • Mucormycosis

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