What Is The Link Between White Fungal Infection And Covid-19 And How To Avoid It?

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - May 21, 2021 04:04 PM +05:30 IST
What Is The Link Between White Fungal Infection And Covid-19 And How To Avoid It? (Unsplash)
Snapshot
  • Even though the exact mortality rate of the disease is yet to be understood, experts believe that it can be dangerous if the infection reaches the lungs.

After the rise in “black fungus” or mucormycosis cases, there is a newly found disease that is baffling medical experts in India.

As per recent reports, cases linked to “white fungus” infection have been found in Patna, Bihar.

Dr Arunesh Kumar, who is the senior consultant and head of respiratory medicine/pulmonology, Paras Hospital told The Indian Express that this infection is likely to be more dangerous than black fungus.

According to IndiaTV, Dr SN Singh, the Head of Patna Medical College and Hospital's Microbiology Department, said that there could more cases of the disease.

Experts believe that Covid-19 patients are more prone to white fungus as it affects the lungs.

White Fungus

Like black fungus or mucormycosis, the white fungus is also more likely to afflict people with compromised immune systems, pre-existing health issues, AIDS, a recent kidney transplant, or diabetes.

The unsanitary use of oxygen cylinders and the overuse of steroids can trigger the risk of this infection too.

Dr Singh said that using tap water in the humidifier attached to an oxygen cylinder could be a key contributor to a chest infection in people on oxygen support.

Dr Kumar warned that people should be careful of moulds in water that could lead to white fungal infection.

It means that proper sanitation is very important to avoid the white fungal infection during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in India.

However, it was also noticed that patients of white fungus show Covid-like symptoms but test negative for the SARS-CoV-2 caused disease.

But the infection can be diagnosed through CT-Scan or X-ray.

The doctor also noted that along with lungs the white fungus can affect several parts of the body such as nails, skin, stomach, brain, kidney, mouth and private parts.

Even though the exact mortality rate of the disease is yet to be understood, experts believe that it can be dangerous if the infection reaches the lungs.

It is believed that children and women are more at risk of contracting this infection compared to others.

Currently, the doctors are using anti-fungal medication to treat the infection.

A health department official said that all those patients who are found to be infected with white fungus should be examined carefully, with a fungus culture test of their phlegm or mucus.

In the case of black fungus, the Union Health Ministry has asked the states and union territories to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under the “Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897”.

Joint Secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said in the letter: "This fungal infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality amongst Covid-19 patients."

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