COVID-19 pandemic in India is already so disturbing, and what makes it even more dangerous are the new strains and diseases emerging out of nowhere amidst the second wave of coronavirus. A rare fungal infection, “mucormycosis”, often called black fungus is being detected in many Covid-19 patients, which is being a matter of concern.
Though research and studies are still being conducted and the status of its effect on people is unclear.
What is Mucormycosis?
Mucormycosis is an uncommon fungi infection caused by a group of mucormycetes (fungi) that are present in the air, dirty adhesive bandages or hospital linens, poor air filtration, non-sterile medical tools, and water leaks that cause contamination. These can enter your body through the nasal chambers and can even cause loss of eyesight, damage the brain and lungs if not controlled.
Mucormycosis in Covid-19 Patients
Many states, including Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai, have detected this black fungal infection in many Covid-19 cases and have reported a rise in Coronavirus patients with its presence.
Dr VK Paul, a NITI Aayog Member, has also mentioned the same and The Indian Council of Medical Research is taking the matter seriously as a Post-Covid Complication.
IMCR has advised Doctors to minimize the prescription of steroids and certain medicines to Covid-19 patients because either they elevate sugar levels or weaken a person’s immunity.
According to the advisory, common symptoms of Mucormycosis are-
- Numbness in Nose
- Face Swelling
- Eye swelling
- Redness of eyes
- Excretion of black mucus
Who is At a Higher Risk?
Diabetic people are at a higher risk of contracting black fungus infection along with people who have low immunity levels, HIV/AIDS, Mellitus cancers, been into medical situations like an organ transplant, and patients who have been consuming corticosteroids for a long time due to asthma or any other reason.
According to CDC statistics mentioned about mucormycosis, an overall mortality rate of 54% was found in mucormycosis cases.
You can also check: Post Covid-19 fatigue- Tips to ensure fast recovery
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Once an individual is diagnosed with mucormycosis, its treatment includes prescribed anti-fungal medicines or injections for about 21 days (each costing about Rs. 9000). Still, in severe cases, surgery is done to remove (cut off) the infected tissue permanently. Prevention is better than cure; this sounds perfect here! Hence to reduce the chances of infection, here’s what you can do-
- Consult a nutritionist or dietitian- Diabetic people should consult a nutritionist or dietitian and get their meal plans altered to keep up with their body health. What you consume plays a vital role in boosting immunity and preventing such diseases.
- Maintain proper hygiene- This rare but life-threatening infection manifests in unhygienic surroundings and amplifies the fungus. It is best to keep your surroundings clean to keep this fungal disease at bay. People who have recovered or are recovering from Covid-19 should make sure they are using clean water for oxygen therapy.
- Go for a potassium hydroxide test- If you experience any symptoms that indicate you might be infected with mucormycosis, go for a potassium hydroxide test for early detection of the black fungus.
- Track your glucose levels- To prevent this disease, people must control their sugar levels which can be done by regularly monitoring glucose in the blood. Avoid foods that spike your blood sugar level.
You can also check: Managing Fear and Anxiety During COVID-19
Don’t Ignore Your Health
For now, mucormycosis cases are not considered part of an outbreak though they have been witnessed in the past, especially during natural disasters.
Whether having mucormycosis symptoms or not, if you aren’t feeling well and are experiencing Covid-19 like or even common symptoms like nose congestion, pain in the cheekbone, toothache, headache, blur or double vision, or chest heaviness, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Consult a doctor online via chat/audio/video call on The Wellness Corner app and skip the hassle of going out during these contagious times unless a face-to-face visit is required.