We were already finding it nerve-racking to deal with the deadliest epidemic in the history of humanity called Covid-19. And then, the news about its different variants and several types of new infections is creating the situation critical. After hearing about different variants of Covid-19 to the date, the name of a new infection called black fungus has also become the talk of the town. It is a severe (rarely found) infection that requires removal, surgery and medication. The other name of this infection is mucormycosis. Many Countries face terrific challenges to treat not one but two epidemics with the sudden rise in black fungus cases.
The Covid-19 treatment and SARS-CoV-2 infection turn your immunity unguarded from other disorders like mucormycosis. The immune response of the body is weakened potentially because of the severe Covid-19. If you are immunocompromised, this could increase your chances to catch other infections quickly. It is more likely to die from a black fungus rather than Covid-19. There are more than 80 people who recovered from Covid-19 who died due to black fungus later on.
❖ What is meant by black fungus?
An infection that occurred due to fungi exposure and a rare type of fungal infection is called a black fungus. This particular kind of fungus is produced in animal dung, compost, soil, and leaves. It makes its way to a human body through exposed wounds, inhaling, and breathing. The black fungus infection has various types, i.e. cutaneous (skin), gastrointestinal, pulmonary (lung), and rhinocerebral (sinus and brain).
❖ The Symptoms
Its signs related to your respiratory system are shortness of breath, sinus or nasal congestion, chest pain, headache, fever, and cough. Symptoms related to the skin are ulcers, blisters, tenderness, swelling, redness, and blackened skin tissue. People with robust immune systems are not likely to come in contact with mucormycosis. However, those who are at higher risk of catching black fungus infection have a weakened immune system. Such people usually suffer from surgery, skin injury, HIV, cancer, and diabetes.
This shows that the weaker immune systems can turn the alarming situation into people living in places with higher risks of mucormycosis. The doctors can perform surgery for removing the affected area and can treat the infection by administering antifungal medication. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if left untreated, the black fungus can reach a mortality rate of 54 per cent and turn out to be more fatal.
❖ Some Facts to Know
There is a combination of factors that result in higher rates of black fungus cases in the World. The number of adult diabetes patients in the World has reached the mark of 463 million. Despite this fact, the figures of black fungus infection cases were lower before Covid-19. Now, this clearly shows that catching the coronavirus once would increase your chances of coming in contact with mucormycosis. Everyone can now understand that black fungus badly affects health and turns out to be life-threatening if you've hardly recovered from Covid-19 and have a weaker immune system.
❖ Is there any life-saving treatment or solution?
The use of steroids can be helpful to treat mucormycosis. It has a mortality rate of 50 per cent, and the use of steroids can give better results to treat it well. When the body's immune system goes into overdrive to fight off coronavirus, it appears to help stop some of the damage that can happen and reduce inflammation in the lungs for Covid-19. However, it raises blood sugar levels and reduces immunity in non-diabetic and diabetic Covid-19 patients. Compared to some cases during the first wave last year, the doctors are pretty surprised by the frequency and severity of this fungal infection during the second wave. In short, there was a time when the situation had gone out of hand. The Covid-19 patients had mucormycosis post-recovery, and the hospitals had no spaces to treat the same patients again who came with some new infection.
Some cases are beyond one's imagination. The doctors had to surgically remove the eye to stop the infection from getting access to the brain when they were already losing vision. They only wanted to stop the spreading of disease and remove some patients' jaw bones surgically. The only effective drug (antifungal intravenous injection to fight against this disease is out of the majority's affordability. The single-day dose costs up to 50 USD which seems quite expensive and impossible to afford for many countries.
❖ What are the cost-saving yet straightforward ways to prevent mucormycosis?
It is not rocket science to escape from catching the black fungus infection. The precautions from Covid-19 require us to stay clean and away from dirt/germs. It does require the same thing. The mucormycosis infection is produced in dirty places, clearly showing that you've to keep your surroundings clean.
As people are considering the effectiveness of cow dung to battle against Covid-19, the doctors are saying something opposite to it. They are repeating the statement of staying away from cow dung and killing the germs efficiently. It doesn't make sense to apply cow dung (which contains many germs) over your body to cure Covid-19. It won't do what people are expecting but invites some new health hazards in the form of mucormycosis.
Change the daily masks or wash them properly before using them next time.
Use sterile normal saline in the humidifier bottle
Replace and clean your humidifiers
Use anti-disinfectant sprays to keep your surroundings germ-free.
Whatever raw thing that you eat, make sure that it is properly washed.
Wash your hands, face and rinse your mouth repetitively. Try to use some germ-killing mouthwash for rinsing your mouth correctly. You would be able to fight against this infection by following the shared tips.