In the midst of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, there’s been a sudden rise in Black Fungus cases that have been reported among recently-recovered patients across the country. But to make an already-grave situation worse, we’re now seeing a growing case of White Fungus being reported from the state of Bihar. Reports suggest that this new White Fungus could potentially be deadlier than Black Fungus.
After some research, here’s what we know:
What Is Black Fungus?Termed Mucormycosis, this is a rare fungal infection that results from a continual exposure to mucor mould, something that’s present in the environment. The infection isn’t common, but has been in existence much before COVID-19, and one is said to catch this infection if and when the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn, or other skin trauma.
What Are The Symptoms Of Black Fungus?
The infection can manifest by way of
• Pain in the eyes• Severe headache• Discoloration or blackening of tissue on nose and cheeks• Congestion in the nose • Loss or blurred vision • Toothache • Swelling in eyes or cheeks, and • Bleeding from the nose
How Can Black Fungus Be Treated?After a person has been infected, the Black Fungus tends to take a life of its own and spreads through the nose, attacks the eyes, and eventually reaches the brain. Precautions must be taken before the infection reaches the brain as once it does, it becomes difficult to treat it, and greatly lessens the patient’s chances of survival.
To treat the infection, the affected tissues must be surgically removed. In some cases, patients end up losing their eye/s and, even their upper jaw. Precaution and prevention is better than cure, which is why it’s important to be attentive. After a consultation with a doctor, a combination steroids in conjunction with closely monitoring one’s sugar intake, is a must. Depending on the severity of the infection, a doctor may also recommend an intravenous anti-fungal procedure spanning four to six weeks.
What Is White Fungus?White Fungus, called candidiasis, on the other hand, is a fungal infection manifesting in the formation of whitish membranes or discharge that are a direct result of candida group of organisms. People can catch this fungal infection from the unsterile use of oxygen cylinders, or the overuse of steroids. The White Fungus is said to attack organs such as lungs, skin, nails, brain, kidney, and mouth, to name a few. What’s more, adults are not the only ones getting affected by the fungus; young children are prone to being infected by White Fungus too. According to reports, this fungus is said to be more dangerous if it is systemic. Initial studies have shown that if it affects the lungs or blood, chances of survival are far lesser when compared to its effects on other parts of the body.
What Are The Symptoms Of White Fungus?
• Whitish patches in the oral cavity• White discharge• Skin lesions• Symptoms of pneumonia of cough, chest pain, and low oxygen level
How Can White Fungus Be Treated?Treatment includes the use of anti-fungal drugs. Candidiasis can be treated orally with fluconazole or itraconazole. For infections in the oral cavity or genitourinary regions, a topical application of anti-fungal medications is advised. However, serious infections in critically ill patients are treated with caspofungin or micafungin. Additionally, White Fungus can be prevented by proper sanitisation of ventilators/oxygen cylinders and also, by regularly sanitising medical equipment used on those affected.