There is a growing fear of black fungus in the country. Mucormycosis in COVID-19 patients may prove to be fatal if left untreated.
The Centre has issued an advisory in order to reduce the infection rate among people. The guideline also states that the fungal infection mainly affects people who are on medication that also reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens.
This evidence-based advisory is for the screening, diagnosis and management of the disease by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Union health ministry.
It comes after health officials in Maharashtra and Gujarat state that the cases of mucormycosis are rising among COVID-19 survivors. Furthermore, it causes blindness or serious illness and even death in some cases.
Black Fungus is a serious but rare fungal infection. It is caused by a group of molds that live in the environment called micromycetes.
Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. Moreover, the disease can be fatal.
Here are some of the Dos and Don’ts of Black Fungus:
-Monitor blood glucose level post-COVID-19 discharge and also in diabetics
-Use steroid judiciously – correct timing, correct dose and duration
-Take clean, sterile water for humidifiers during oxygen therapy
– Antibiotics/antifungals judiciously.
-Don’t miss warning signs and symptoms
-Also, do not consider all the cases with a blocked nose as cases of bacterial sinusitis, particularly in the context of immunosuppression and/or COVID-19 patients on immunomodulators
-Don’t hesitate to seek aggressive investigations, as appropriate (KOH staining & microscopy, culture, MALDITOF), for detecting fungal etiology
-Do not lose crucial time to initiate treatment for mucormycosis
Currently, the infection is especially affecting COVID-19 patients with weakened immunity and also high blood sugar.
Besides, COVID-positive individuals with added comorbidities like diabetes, cancer, kidney or heart failure, and COVID patients treated using steroids also feature on the list of rapidly rising black fungus cases of late.