Black Fungus: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan says awareness, early diagnosis key to curb infection, shares general advisory

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Patients who had severe Covid-19 infection and were admitted for a long time in ICU are likely to have weak immunity which renders them more vulnerable to the infection.

Amidst rising concern over the increasing number of cases of Black Fungus among recovered Coronavirus patients, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today said that awareness about the rare infection and its early diagnosis can reduce its spread. The minister took to micro blogging site Twitter to raise awareness about the disease. Vardhan said that the instances of Mucormycosis which is commonly known as Black Fungus infection have come to light among patients who are recovering or recovered from Coronavirus infection. The minister also shared four posters related to the symptoms, patients who are more vulnerable to the disease and general advisory of do’s and don’ts related to the disease.

What is Mucormycosis or Black Fungus infection?
This is a kind of fungal infection that affects patients with existing medical problems that lessens their body’s capability to fight against environmental pathogens that cause the disease, the poster shared by Vardhan said.

Common Symptoms of Black Fungus infection
The most prominent symptom of this infection is pain and redness around the area of nose and eyes along with fever, headache, cough, shortness of breath and bloody vomits.

Patients more vulnerable to Black Fungus infection
As is the case with Coronavirus, people who are suffering from severe comorbidities are more vulnerable to the environmental pathogens that cause the infection. With a large number of Coronavirus patients being administered steroids during their treatment, the danger of the infection increases as steroids depress the natural immunity of the human body. Patients who had severe Covid-19 infection and were admitted for a long time in ICU are likely to have weak immunity which renders them more vulnerable to the infection. Among other categories of patients who are vulnerable include patients suffering from uncontrolled diabetes and those who have undergone voriconazole therapy, as per the information provided by the Minister.

Do’s and Don’ts
Patients who have recovered from Covid-19 should monitor their blood glucose levels and diabetes levels regularly. Use of steroids by Covid-19 patients should be judicious and in consonance with Covid-19 severity as the drug depresses the natural immunity of the body to fight against diseases and infection. For oxygen therapy, patients should use clean and sterile water.

Patients who are experiencing symptoms similar to the Black Fungus infection should not miss or ignore those symptoms. Patients should also not lose crucial time and get their Black Fungus infection at the earliest and the damage caused by the disease increases with progression of time

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