As the country fights with the more dangerous second wave of coronavirus, another disease called Black fungus has marked its beginning in the country. Black fungus is witnessed in many Covid 19 patients, who are recovering or have recovered. Several states have declared it an epidemic.
Meanwhile, Patna in Bihar and Hisar in Haryana have reported several cases of White fungus. Not only Black and white fungus, now, but there are also reports about yellow fungus emerging in patients. A few cases of yellow fungus are reported in Ghaziabad.
The reason why these fungal infections are emerging in Covid 19 patients is not clear. However, doctors and researchers suggest that industrial oxygen was given to patients amid oxygen shortage, and this might be the reason for these various fungal infections attacking the human body.
How many fungal infections are there
There are a large number of fungal infections. However, most of them exist in the environment and don't pose much threat, like, fungal nail infection, vaginal candidiasis, ringworm, mouth and throat candidiasis.
Many fungal infections occur due to poor immunity. Some of them are contagious whereas some are life-threatening.
Black, white or yellow fungus, which is more dangerous
According to Hematologist Dr. VK Bhardwaj, if you look at the rate of transmission, the white fungus is more contagious. But, on observing the mortality rate, it is clear that Blak fungus is more deadly. There are chances that 54% of patients with black fungus die.
Whereas, the yellow fungus does not have a threat to life. Doctors suggest that there is no need to panic as such fungus has already been present in the environment. White and yellow fungus do not pose threat to life and have happened before.
Reasons for these various fungal infections in Covid19 patients
Amid the shortage of oxygen in the country, the patients were given industrial oxygen. Some doctors suggest that this might be a reason for fungal infections in the human body. Some suggest fungus is found in soil, perishable organic substances. If there is contaminated water inside the oxygen cylinder, then there is a risk of fungal infection.
People with weak/ low immunity are at more risk.
According to experts, the use of zinc in treating Covid 19 patients may be a major contributing factor to the outbreak of Black fungus.
“Presence of metals such as zinc and iron in the body provides a suitable environment for the fungi that causes Black fungus,” said IMA former president Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan.
Supply of medical oxygen and co-morbidities are also considered to be the reason for emerging cases of Black fungus in the country.
How to avoid fungal infection
To avoid black fungus, doctors recommend staying away from construction sites, don’t visit dusty areas, wear gloves with full sleeves during gardening. Wearing masks, avoiding places with leakage of water and sites where industries dump wastewater are few other preventive measures suggested by doctors.
White fungus mostly occurs in patients who are hospitalized for a long time. During the period of hospitalization, hygiene must be at its best otherwise the infection may enter the body and can be deadly.
For patients who are on ventilators or oxygen support, their equipment like ventilators, and tubes, etc. should be bacteria-free. Sterilized water must be used in oxygen cylinder humidifiers.