Black Fungus in COVID Patients


India is struggling against a speedy increase in Covid-19 cases, but a horrible and rare fungal infection affecting some coronavirus patients is dealing the country a double blow. Few cases of this fungal infection have also been reported in Pakistan, though the number is very low. As per researches, Mucormycosis, previously known as zygomycosis, is the disease produced by the many fungi that belong to the fungal family “Mucorales”. Fungi in this family are usually found in the environment and are often related to decaying organic material such as fruit and vegetables. The member of this family most often accountable for infections in humans is called Rhizopus oryzae. In India though, another family member called Apophysomyces, found in humid and subtropical climates, is also common. In the laboratory, these fungi breed quickly and have a black-brown uncertain appearance.

Those that cause human disease propagate well at body temperature and in acidic environments, the kind saw when tissue is dead, dying, or connected with unrestrained diabetes. When our lungs are damaged and our immune systems suppressed, such as is the case in patients being treated for severe Covid-19, these spores can raise in our airways or sinuses, and occupy our bodies’ tissues. Diagnosis and intervention as early as possible are imperative. This includes control of blood sugar, urgent removal of dead tissue, and antifungal drug treatment. But unfortunately, many infections will be identified late and access to treatment is restricted. This was the case in India prior to Covid-19 and the existing demands on the health system will only make things worse. Controlling these fungal infections will need improved awareness, enhanced tests to identify them early, along with an emphasis on controlling diabetes and using corticosteroids intelligently. Patients will require access to appropriate surgery and antifungal treatment. However, there is also a need to be more focused when it comes to research and prevention strategies altogether.

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