All you need to know about Black Fungus

All you need to know about Black Fungus – Healing Hospital

The second wave of coronavirus has sure come to a decline but there is another challenge that our country is facing, namely black fungus. Also known as mucormycosis, this disease has been officially declared an epidemic by many state governments. It is a deadly fungal infection that is affecting covid patients all around India. 

This being said, there are a lot of myths that are being circulated about black fungus and that is why you need to know authentic information about black fungus. Here is all you need to know.

What is black fungus?
Symptoms of black fungus
Prevention from black fungus
Treatment of black fungus

What is black fungus?

The black fungus infection is caused by a group of molds called Mucormycetes. Mucormycetes can be found at all places in nature. Black fungus has the potential to impact regions from where it can be breathed in, such as the lungs, nose, and sinus

Mucormycetes can cause local infection if it enters through the skin or a cut, but it can also damage the brain and eyes if it enters through the sinus. It mostly affects COVID-19 patients with uncontrolled diabetes, weak immune system, a recent transplant, lengthy stays in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and those who are on medications.

Without proper treatment, it can lead to loss of vision or even worse. 

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Symptoms of black fungus

Symptoms of black fungus include the following:

  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion (blocked nose)
  • Black crusts in the nose 
  • Facial pain
  • Toothache or loosening of tooth/teeth
  • Numbness or swelling in cheeks and eyes
  • Discolouration of the nose
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Blood coughing
  • Blurred or double vision accompanied with pain, fever or headache
  • Pain and redness around the eyes and nose
  • Chest pain
  • A shift in the state of mind

If you have the above symptoms, you should get yourself checked immediately. If left untreated, it can lead to the removal of jaw bone, blindness or even death.

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Prevention from black fungus

It cannot be stressed enough that prevention is always better than cure. So do take care of the following:

  • Wear an N-95 mask or a double mask when going anywhere, especially around areas such as gardens, dusty areas, garbage places, etc.
  • Wear clothes that cover your entire body
  • Keep your blood sugar levels under control if you are diabetic
  • If you take steroids, you should stay under close watch with your doctor. Your dosage of steroids should also be decreased if the doctor allows it.
  • Maintain strict personal hygiene
  • Avoid self-medication on all levels
  • Avoid contact with water-damaged buildings and areas

Patients with COVID-19 who are receiving oxygen treatment must be especially protected from black fungus infection. Therefore, caregivers must take care of the following additional attention:

  • Piping must be sterilized
  • The water in the humidifier must be sterilised and replaced on a regular basis.

Treatment of black fungus

First of all, a diagnosis of black fungus is done by a blood test, MRI, CT scan or biopsy, in addition to a clinical evaluation based on symptoms. If black fungus is found in the body, then it needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Treatment can be started by management of pre-existing conditions and prescribing anti-fungal medications but it may eventually require surgery.

The treatment comprises an IV infusion of normal saline (IV) followed by an infusion of amphotericin B and antifungal medication for at least 4-6 weeks to maintain sufficient systemic hydration.

Microbiologists, internal medicine experts, intensivist neurology, ENT specialists, ophthalmologists, dentists, maxillofacial/plastic surgeons, and other medical professionals work together to treat Covid patients with mucormycosis or black fungus.

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