Amidst the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in India, a growing number of recovered patients are contracting the black fungus infection. The country has so far witnessed 8,800 cases of the rare Mucrormycosis infection (black fungus), which has a high mortality rate of 50%. The rising cases of black fungus have compelled several States such as Rajasthan to notify it as an epidemic.
To add to the woes, at least 4 cases of white fungus were reported in Patna and Bihar. The white fungus is considered deadlier than the black fungus. Reportedly, the white fungus does not spread from human to human transmission but through inhalation of fungi moulds (mucromycetes). The fungus then causes severe damage to vital organs, which in turn impacts the respiratory system, brain, kidneys, and private parts. Individuals with co-morbidities, diabetes, cancer, low immunity, or using Immuno-suppressants are vulnerable to white fungus infection.
It has now come to light that a case of yellow fungus has been reported in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. The patient is now being treated at the hospital of ENT surgeon Brij Pal Tyagi. While speaking to ANI, Dr Tyagi said, “Yesterday, a patient came to me at Sanjay Nagar. An endoscopy test revealed that he was infected with black, white, and yellow fungi. This yellow fungus is found in reptiles. I am seeing this for the first time”
कल संजय नगर से मेरे पास एक मरीज आया। एंडोस्कोपी टेस्ट में पता चला की उसे ब्लैक, व्हाइट और येलो फंगस है। येलो फंगस रेप्टाइल्स में पाया जाता है, पहली बार मैंने इसे इंसानों में देखा है: डॉ बी.पी. त्यागी, इएनटी स्पेशलिस्ट, गाज़ियाबाद #UttarPradesh pic.twitter.com/fyqhYM0zfP— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) May 24, 2021
Individuals infected by yellow fungus develop symptoms such as laziness, loss of appetite, and weight loss. In severe cases, the patient may experience pus leakage, a slow rate of healing of wounds, malnutrition, organ failure, and sunken eyes. Reportedly, yellow fungus infection is caused primarily due to poor hygiene. As such, it becomes important to keep the home and its surroundings clean.
Besides, disposal of faecal matter and food items must be done appropriately to prevent the rapid growth of the fungus. At the same time, the humidity of the house must be checked at all times, as higher humidity promotes the growth of fungus. The current treatment for yellow fungus involves the administration of Amphotericin B injection, a broad-spectrum antifungal drug.
Mucormycosis is not contagious
It has to be noted that mucormycosis or black fungus is not contagious. It cannot spread between persons or persons and animals. CDC says, “Mucormycosis can’t spread between people or between people and animals”.
In a recent interview with Times Now, Dr Akshay Nair, Oculoplastic Surgeon, Ocular Oncologist said that mucormycosis is not contagious. He said, “It is possible that a healthy person like you and me can have mucormycosis spores in our system, but unless an environment is created that allows mucormycosis to grow, which happens in diabetes, which happens in immuno-compromised people unless that happens, the disease will not be able to invade our system. It is only possible in those who are vulnerable.”