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Black Fungus Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Mucormycosis or black fungus infection can occur any time after COVID-19 disease. From causes and symptoms to treatment, here’s everything you need to know about it.

  • 19 Nov 2021
  • min read

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit India severely. The Delta variant (also call the Indian variant) of the coronavirus, which is believed to be behind the rise of second wave of COVID-19 in India, spreads much faster and can have a very drastic effect on the infected patients. As a result, the positivity rate of coronavirus as well as the mortality rate is much higher this time around. Buy health insurance policy that provides coverage against all hospitalization-related expenses, including coronavirus and black fungus treatment.

Even as India continue to struggle with the impact of COVID-19’s second wave, rising cases of black fungus infection among those recovering from the virus brought fresh concerns for the Government and citizens alike. As per the Central Government’s data, there were about 8,848 cases of black fungus infection in India on 22nd May, 2021. And these figures were spiraling at a rapid rate.

Experts are calling this infection “A Pandemic within Covid-19 Pandemic”. As per the reports, number of people dying due to black fungus infection in India is steadily increasing. From black fungus symptoms, to causes, to its treatment, we have discussed everything you need to know about this disease in this article. Continue reading.

What is Black Fungus?

Also known as Mucormycosis, black fungus disease is a fungal infection which is presently seen in patients who are suffering from COVID-19 with co-morbidities such as HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, and Mellitus cancer. If not controlled during its initial stages, black fungus infection can prove to be fatal for the patients.

What causes Black Fungus?

Black fungus or Mucormycosis is basically a rare fungal infection which is caused by a group of moulds or fungus known as Mucormycetes. These moulds are considered separate from plants and animals kingdom, and are found in plants, soil, water, decaying organic matter, and sometimes in animals and humans.

As per the doctors, the primary reason behind the development of fungal infection in a COVID-positive patient is prolonged exposure to moisture during oxygen therapy. Use of ordinary tap water in flow meters of oxygen cylinders are also believed to cause black fungus infection. This can also be triggered due to the use of mould-tainted oxygen pipes and humidifiers.

Who all are at risk?

As per the Ministry of Health, black fungus infection in India is mostly detected amongst people who are recovering or have recovered from the COVID-19 disease. This infection can occur anytime to a coronavirus patient i.e. either during his/her hospital stay or several days to few weeks after discharge.

People who have sinus problems or those who are on medications for lung problems are most susceptible to catch black fungus infection during the treatment of COVID-19. Besides, those who are suffering from diabetes, cancer, blood malignancies, and iron deficiency are prone to this fungal infection.

Also read:

What are the symptoms of Black Fungus?

Black fungus infection mainly affects the nose, eyes, inside of the ears, and face of the infected patient. If not controlled, the infection can spread to the lungs and brain of the infected. Below are some symptoms of black fungus:

  • Pain and redness around the eyes and nose
  • Black spots around the nose and eyes
  • Slight fever
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bloody vomit and coughing
  • Blurred vision
  • Blackish discharge from nose
  • Facial pain and swelling in cheekbones
  • Black lesions on skin and inside the mouth

If you notice any black fungus symptom in you after recovering from COVID-19, you must seek immediate medical attention.

What are the preventive measures?

Prevention is always better than cure. Below are the preventive measures you should adopt to avoid black fungus infection after recovering from COVID-19:

  • Maintain good hygiene and cleanliness. Practice oral hygiene tips such as drinking safe water, frequent mouth-washing, gargling with povidone-iodine.
  • In case you require oxygen therapy, ensure that the water used for humidification is sterile and there is no leakage from the humidifier.
  • Avoid usage of steroids. Even if you need to take it, ensure that you do so in a very limited quantity.
  • While at home, keep your surroundings clean, and free from dust and dampness.
  • Keep your blood sugar level in control. Avoid eating sugar-rich foods.
  • Avoid going to construction areas, fields, or grounds.
  • Avoid working with soil or gardening. If unavoidable, use masks, gloves, and boots while engaging in such tasks.

What is the treatment for Black Fungus?

By getting timely treatment, you can prevent this fungal infection from turning into something serious. Major Black Fungus treatment techniques include use of anti-fungal drugs and intravenous injections. Some common drugs used for the treatment of Black fungus include Liposomal Amphotericin-B, Posaconazole, and Isavuconazole tablets.

In severe cases, a radical surgery can be done to remove fungal lesions from the patient’s body. In some cases, the entire nasal cavity has to be scoured to remove fungus and necrotic tissues. In case the infection has spread to the brain, intracranial decompression may be required. It’s a surgery that involves removal of a portion of the skull.

The final word

Fungal infections are very lethal, and if not treated timely, they can turn fatal. The mortality rate for these infections ranges between 25 to 90%. Hence, early diagnosis of the infection and prompt medical intervention is necessary. Moreover, the treatment for these diseases can be very expensive.

A health insurance policy provides coverage against all hospitalization-related expenses, including coronavirus and black fungus treatment.

ICICI Lombard also provides health insurance plans like Family Health Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance, Health Booster, Saral Suraksha Bima, Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, Corona Kavach Policywhich offers people with the much needed financial backup during any medical emergencies.

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