Black Fungus in Covid Patients: What are the symptoms and treatment?
Created by Shalini Singh Updated on May 19, 2021
Following the second wave of Covid-19, a serious fungal infection is being seen in many Covid-19 patients in recent times. If not detected early, it can be fatal.
What is mucormycosis or black fungus?
Mucormycosis is caused by a group of molds that are found throughout the natural environment. These are called mucormycetes.
Black Fungus mainly affects people who are on certain medications that reduce their ability to fight environmental pathogens. The sinuses or lungs of individuals get affected after they inhale fungal spores from air.
Why is Black Fungus Affecting Covid-19 Patients?
Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of contracting covid-19. During the treatment, they are given steroids which further worsens their immunity.
It is believed that steroids which are being used as a life-saving treatment for covid-19 patients, can be a trigger for mucormycosis. They can decrease immunity and increase blood sugar levels. Patients with prolonged ICU stay are also at a higher risk.
What are the symptoms of Black Fungus or mucormycosis?
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research
Sinusitis (nasal blockage or congestion)
Black or Bloody nasal discharge
Local pain on the cheekbone or one sided Facial Pain
Numbness or swelling
Discolouration over the bridge of nose
Loosening of teeth
Blurred vision with pain, fever, skin lesion, blood clot, and chest pain.
What precautions can patients take?
It is important for Covid-19 patients to regularly monitor their blood glucose level. Diabetics should also monitor their blood glucose levels.
Judicious use of antibiotics, antifungals and steroids is advised for doctors.
Hospitals to use clean and sterile water for humidifiers during oxygen therapy.
Close monitoring to make sure warning signs and symptoms are not missed and treatment can start early. Warning Signs include fever, coughing, headache, breathlessness, blood vomits and altered mental status.
Use masks at dusty construction sites.
How to treat mucormycosis?
It is important to control diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis. Studies suggest doctors should reduce steroids if the patient is still on them. Besides this, immunomodulating drugs should also be discontinued. Surgery for removing all necrotic (dead) material is also recommended in certain cases. It is also advised to go for Antifungal therapy as the doctor recommends.
| Jun 14, 2021
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