That’s the link to the First Chapter & Now read the latest Update on Black Fungus:
UPDATE ON BLACK FUNGUS FIRST
FIGURES & RATE OF FATALITY-
Well ! Update has it that ‘mucormycosis’ aka black fungus is here to stay & especially in India. India is victim to currently 70% of Covid-19 provoked cases of black fungus in the entire world, so all the more cause for worry to India. We stand at 7250 confirmed cases and 219 deaths as of today & still counting.
The ache-point is that the infection comes attached with a fatality rate of 50% which boils down to the fact that it is hard to cure. The rate shoots by 30% more if the disease is left untreated due to late diagnosis, no diagnosis and other reasons like absence of treatment etc..
The critical behaviour of mucormycosis has led many Indian states to declare it as ‘a notifiable disease’ under the Epidemic Diseases act,1897. These include:
Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chandigarh UT, Odisha, Telangana, Karnataka, UP, Maharashtra, Assam.
Other affected states like Delhi, MP may soon follow suit.
UPDATE ON DRUGS USED FOR BLACK FUNGUS & AVAILABILITY-
There are mainly two kinds of anti-fungal medicines in usage currently.
Liposomal Amphotericin B– last line drug & Posaconazole– second line drug
Naturally, there is a shortage of these drugs because of unprecedented rise in mucormycosis cases. Black-marketing is an obvious outcome. To make good the scarcity, manufacturing has been levelled up. Five more pharmaceutical companies in addition to the existing six have been approved for such production. The government is hotly considering imports.
CLEAR CASES FOR BLACK FUNGUS-
The outbreak is unleashing itself in different parts of India. By example, it has become very apparent that victims easiest on prey are the ones who are on the MOST SUSCEPTIBLE COMBO- STEROIDS + SUGAR. Here, the fungal spores have an easy access to excess sugar, allowing them to incubate, thrive & grow. Immunity suppressed conditions & low oxygen levels become the greatest facilitators of the fungi. Thus, covid-19 patients become strong potentials & fertile soil for the fungus.
UPDATED LIST OF DOs & DON’Ts FOR BLACK FUNGUS (in addition to the previous ones; refer CH-1)-
- Patients fed/feeding on steroids are advised extra precautions to not step out of home, avoid meeting people for least a week & to not take further doses without a medical consultation, that is, avoid self-medication.
- To ensure hygiene of the mouth, keep free their tooth-brushes & tongue cleaners of any contamination & to practise oral rinsing (using mouth-washes etc.)
- Use masks without fail & make sure they are dry & clean when you put them on. This will ensure you don’t inhale the molds directly.
- Sunlight is the most natural & powerful combat for disinfection. Try & invite it to every nook & corner possible.
- Don’t consume food that has been refrigerated for days. Try to eat only fresh fruits & vegetables.
The disease being fungal opportunistic in nature, we should ensure we don’t provide any conditions conducive to its breeding. Inhaling steam is very popular in covid-times. However, taking it incorrectly is one way in which we may encourage the growth of fungi cells.
- Anything above 3 sessions of steaming a day, 10-15 minutes each session can be regarded as over-steaming. This needs avoidance.
- Cleanse the steamer regularly, ideally after every use.
- Sharing the same steamer is an unhealthy practice. However, if sharing cannot be escaped, then, a thorough sanitization of the steamer is a must.
TREATMENT- A Multi-Pronged Approach!
There may arise a need for various medical disciplines to work in tandem to control infection in a black fungus patient effectively. The ENT specialist, eye/general/neuro/dental surgeons may all need to co-ordinate as the disease may spread to different organs of the body.
WHITE FUNGUS- A NEWLY EMERGING THREAT?
SPREAD, SYMPTOMS & DIAGNOSIS-
So while,’black fungus’ threat is looming large in the country, there is another covid-associated fungal infection which is slowly making headlines. Post-covid, it has first erupted in India, in Patna(Bihar) where four patients contracted the ‘white fungus’ disease. Current status: almost cured after being treated with anti-fungals. It has also been traced in few patients in Maharashtra & Gujarat but there is not much spread as of now.
Scientifically, we call ‘white fungus infection’ as aspergillosis and more commonly as candidiasis. The symptoms of the disease are quite similar to that of Covid-19 and thus maybe confused with the same. However, additional scans of HRCT can trace the infection, while simultaneously test negative for covid-19.
While we continue to read reports of white fungus being deadlier than black fungus, as of now, there is no evidence to ascertain that. While fatality rate of the black version is high, we have no such reading about white fungus. White fungus infection can supposedly be life-threatening only if the symptoms or medical intervention is missed completely. Otherwise, there are quite a number of drugs to take care of it & to quickly settle it. The commonest drug we use here is”fluconazole“.
However, it may be dangerous in the sense that it spreads to the vital organs of the body much easily and this may include the lungs, stomach, intestines, kidneys, ‘private parts’, also the nails. It is invasive & may thus cause skin or vaginal infection, oral thrush etc..Women and children are more prone to this kind of infection, so ‘pregnant women’ must especially take care. Other conditions prone to it are like those of black fungus; for example, suppressed immunities, high sugar levels, steroid or oxygen supported treatment and other pre-existing comorbidities.
STAY ALERT, STAY CALM !
Till date, there isn’t much cause for alarm from the white one, but do follow precautions and keep yourself fortified in safe and sanitary conditions. You never know, what the next piece of news might have to say, when an otherwise normal condition becomes a symptom and when a new disease catches us unawares. Uncertain times these are! But let’s do what we can without being on edge or on pins & needles.
Worry less, Act more !
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