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Black Fungus - A General Awareness

 

Black Fungus 

Slowly following  the Covid-19 Pandemic  a   rare,  deadly & aggressive fungal  infection is spreading as epidemic in India ; As per  recent BBC news already nearly 9 thousand cases have been detected  in various states  like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Telengana etc.  

How Caused  -

Black Fungus or Mucormycosis is caused by a group of fungi that normally live in the environment, particularly  as moulds found in  soil and in decaying organic matters such as leaves, compost piles or rotten wood (CDC- 13/05/2021) ; People get Mucormycosis of which there are several types by breathing in the fungal spores ; It may also come in hospitals and homes from  air humidifiers or oxygen tanks containing dirty water ;

Line of Treatment

According to Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the infection needs to be caught early as it is aggressive & dead tissues have to be scraped away ;  Unfortunately, surgeons  sometimes  have to remove  a patient’s nose, eyes & even his jaw to stop it getting to the brain ; 

According to CDC the average fatality rate is 54 percent ; However, as learnt,  it is not contagious ; Our country  normally faces only a few dozen cases a year ; It is learnt that Amphotericin-B is an anti-fungal drug which is now being used  in the treatment of Black Fungus ; However,  to give  the exact medication,  proper doses etc.  for  treating this disease is not the purpose of this brief article ; That rests absolutely upon the doctors ;

Why the Cases of  Black  Fungus are Increasing ?  

Rapid growth of Coronavirus can be linked with the growth of Black Fungus as a secondary infection ; In severe cases of Covid-19 patients when steroids are used for a long time, this  overuse of steroids can acutely compromise the immune system of the body, as a result the chances of  mucormycosis  or Black Fungus increase ; The chances of this disease also increase if the patients are diabetic ;  Unfortunately, in India the rate of diabetic patients are high ;  Besides, Covid  patients who have been hospitalized for a long time,  are on oxygen support or ventilator with poor hospital hygiene  or  who have been taking  medications for other ailments like diabetes, cancer etc.  are very prone to catch these disease ;

Primary  Symptoms  

Primary symptoms of the Black fungus include discoloration of the oral tissues, 

tongue, gums, stuffy nose, severe pains, swelling face, heaviness below the 

eyes,  discomfort,  fever &  headache etc. 


 PREVENTION  

·        Maintain  general oral hygiene ;

·        Oral Rinsing – Patients are advised to change their tooth-brush once 

      they test negative &  to keep rinsing their mouth regularly ;

·     To use anti-septic mouthwash at bedtime regularly ;                   

     Avoid unhygienic or re-using unwashed masks ;

       ·        Keep your surroundings clean & avoid  poorly ventilated rooms etc.

[ All the above information are  collected from  various recent posts in 

  Times of India, The Indian Express etc.]

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