What Is Black Fungus?
Black Fungus, also known as Mucormycosis, is recently noticed to increase rapidly in many parts of the country. While the country is trying really hard to get rid of this COVID pandemic, there is one more severe threat pointed on the people by a fungus, which is to be understood and acted upon at a fast war pace before the situations turn worse and out of control. This Black fungus is being noticed in few COVID patients either during the treatment or post-recovery as well.
Black Fungus test for COVID-19 patients is now made one more mandatory test so as to avoid the worst situations if left unattended at earlier stages. One gets Mucormycosis complication when they get in touch with the fungal spores that cause this fungal infection. This infection affects the sinus and is very dangerous leading to the loss of eye for surgery and has only about a 50% mortality rate. Although this infection is rare, still recently the rate has noticed an increase with around 12000 cases reported and most of them are observed in COVID recovered patients.
Symptoms Of Black Fungus
There are many symptoms involved to suspect black fungus. However, the Black Fungus test for COVID-19 patients is done apart from just relying on the below symptoms.
A few of the most common symptoms of black fungus are listed below. This fungal infection is observed to start appearing as some skin infection in air pockets back to the forehead, cheekbones, nose, and between eyes and teeth.
- Pain in the face on one side or swelling appearance or the loss of sensation
- Nose bridge or palate discoloration or blackishness
- Either tooth pain or looseness of the teeth along with the movement in the jaw.
- An inconvenience in the vision like blurry view or double vision along with pain, body temperature change, skin damage, recrosis, and thrombosis.
- Respiratory systems becoming worse
- Pain in the chest
- Pleural effusion and hemoptysis.
What Causes Black Fungus
Mucormycosis is caused due to a fungal infection. If individuals get in contact with the Mucormycosis causing fungal spores present in the environment they get infected. This infection may also grow on the skin when the fungus enters the skin through a scrape or cut or burn or any other such type of trauma. Black fungus is observed in many COVID patients who are undergoing treatment or have already recovered. Diabetic patients and those with a weak immune system are suggested to strictly guard their bodily changes against this fungal infection.
There are few conditions listed below as per ICMR that increases the chance of Black fungus;
- Diabetic with no control.
- A weakened immune system can be due to steroids used while treating COVID.
- Very long stay in the ICU.
- Cancer or after organ transplantation or comorbidities.
- Voriconazole Therapy – A type of therapy used to treat fungal infections.
Test To Identify The Black Fungus
Based on the information received in treating black fungus, it is observed that the tests made to identify the black fungus are;
1. CT Scan
CT scan is made to check for the fungus in bones. The fungus attacks the bones in the severe late stage.
2. MRI Scan
MRI determines the presence of fungus in the soft tissues which happen in the early stage of fungal attack.
3. Nasal Endoscopy
This is a diagnostic tool to see where the fungus is. This test is carried out by putting a swab on the tongue or other parts with potassium hydroxide and test if the fungus is there or not.
Black Fungus Tests For Covid-19 Patients
Black fungus test for COVID-19 patients is also done likewise based on the symptoms to understand the fungal presence and spread. And the scope of test conduction depends on where the infection is suspected to be present. The test may be carried out by collecting a fluid sample from the respiratory system. Or else, a tissue biopsy or maybe a CT scan can be taken on your lungs or sinuses, etc.
How Can Black Fungus Be Treated In Covid Patients?
Black fungus in COVID patients or non-COVID patients is treated by following the prescribed antifungal medication. In some severe cases, apart from just medication, surgery may also be needed to remove the infected part leading to the loss of the upper jaw or sometimes an eye even.
Prevention Tips For Black Fungus
Following a few preventive steps would completely avoid the situation or at least decrease the impact rate.
- Wear masks while going out especially when being exposed to dust
- Use gloves, shoes, trousers, and shirts with long sleeves while working with soil or manure, or moss.
- If you’re more vulnerable to the possible attack then you must do a good scrub bath to be personal hygiene.
Black fungus and COVID-19 may not be attacking at the same time but COVID patients are observed to stand a high chance of getting infected with the fungus. Following the above-listed prevention steps would save you from Mucormycosis.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.