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Introduction about Fungus
Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi reported on Thursday a rare type of white Fungus in which the infection has spread throughout the intestine. The development occurs when black fungus cases in India are on the rise and reports of white fungus are spreading between people.
Although not much is known about white and yellow fungi, experts say that the colour depends on the development of the fungus, and it is best not to identify them with paint.
Labelling the same mushroom with different colour names can be confusing, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said recently. “There are diverse types of fungal infections like Candida, Aspergillosis, Cryptococcus, Histoplasmosis, and Coccidioidomycosis. Mucormycosis, Candida, and aspergillosis are most commonly seen in people with low immunity,” he said.
As the country continues grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, black fungus or mucormycosis cases increase in the country. Meanwhile, white fungus and yellow fungus cases have also been reported in some parts of the country.
Types of Fungus
1. White Fungus
On Thursday, Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital reported that the first white fungus of its kind had found multiple perforations in the intestine. The white fungal infection that causes such damage has not been seen before. The white fungus has been considered a common infection that can be cured with commonly available drugs.
Dr Kavita Sachdeva, head of the otolaryngology department at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College Hospital in Jabalpur, recently reported white fungus cases, said the hospital receives five points of white fungus every month.
It is common in rural areas because it is carried by dust, hay, or other similar particles. Known as Aspergillus Flavus infection in medical terminology, it is not a new disease or as deadly as mucormycosis, as quoted by PTI.
White fungus is a genus of yeast called Candida. It grows in the lab as white / creamy spots on agar plates. In humans, they reappear more frequently as creamy-white spots on the lining of the oral cavity. They are commensal in the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract and are also present on the skin.
Candida albicans is the most regularly isolated species. Albicans means white. Hence the term white mushroom.
2. Black Fungus
India currently has over 10,000 black fungus cases around it, as the mucormycosis threat has risen in importance amid the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels and steroid abuse during Covid treatment are the reasons for this epidemic.
The government has increased the production and importation of its drug, and most states have declared the disease an epidemic.
Black Fungus is another term for the disease Mucormycosis. It is a fungal infection by the Mucorales order in which the species most commonly are Rhizopus, Mucor, and Absidia. Mycosis is a term for fungal infection and hence Mucormycosis-Mycosis caused by Mucor.
The blackening of tissue is what gives it the name. It causes invasion of tissues and blood vessels and thus interrupts the blood supply to normal tissue, which then gets necroses and changes colour to black.
3. Yellow Fungus
Dr BP Tyagi, an otolaryngologist from Ghaziabad, tells ANI that the yellow fungus is deadly because it starts indoors and its symptoms are not easy to notice. According to an ANI report, Ghaziabad reported a case of black, white, and yellow fungal infections at a similar time in a 45-year-old patient.
Regarding the yellow fungus, Dr Samiran Panda, head of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), says you should study the specimen because the yellow fungus is present in reptiles.
Yellow fungus is a term coined by someone and, unfortunately, does not have any significance. Yellow is the colour of pus, which is formed whenever there is any bacterial infection. Superadded on, there may be fungal growth of a wide variety of species. It does not mean that the fungal infection is causing the colour.
It also most definitely does not mean a “new yellow fungus which is more dangerous than black and white fungus.”
When and why does Fungus occur?
Mycoses are all opportunistic infections, which means they attack an individual who has a weakened immune system. Our immune system is imaginary to fight off any invasion by fungi and bacteria. This lack of immunity allows the fungus to spread, invade and destroy tissue.
The recent pandemic of Covid-19 infection has led to a large number of people suffering severe illness, which has left them to have the following issues:
1. Prolonged ICU stay
2. High blood sugars
3. Prolonged oxygen use Previously, the patients inflict with these diseases.
Their profile was:
1. Chronic kidney disease
2. Uncontrolled diabetes
4. Chemotherapy and Anticancer drugs
The Covid patients with added factors of the second list give rise to a cohort of diseased that are severely immunocompromised, even more than before, which are at risk for developing these fungal illnesses.
What are the symptoms of the Fungus?
Mucormycosis has some very early symptoms like altered sensation on the cheek due to invasion of the nerve supplying that area. As the disease progresses, it involves the nasal cavity leading to nose block, nasal discharge, which is bloody and smelly.
Further spread to the sinuses can lead to swelling in the eye, blurred vision, sudden loss of vision, and bulging of the eyeball. The disease may spread to the brain from the sinuses, optic nerve, or directly by invading bone of the skull base or via the blood.
It may also spread to the palate and present as loose teeth and swelling on the gums. It may be present in far-off places like kidneys, ureters spreading via the bloodstream. Candida infection can lead to uncomplicated oral thrush, i.e., whitish spots on the mouth and throat mucosal lining, which may spread to the throat and oesophagus.
It may spread to the eye, as in a recent case in Mau, UP, detected by a friend. Candida infection may spread in the heart and genitalia as well. For mucormycosis, precautions are debatable concerning their efficacy in preventing these infections.
What are the precautions of the Fungus?
One can use saline nasal irrigation or use of dilute betadine drops in the nose. These are not effective but specific physician associations recommend them. With regards to candidiasis, one needs to maintain oral hygiene to prevent oral thrush. Ut’s primary goal is prevention, requiring an excellent immune system, especially in post-Covid.
Strict monitoring of diabetes and avoiding dead/decaying organic matter will help. You should avoid Self-medication with instructions received on WhatsApp groups, taking antibiotics over the counter.
Post Covid-19 infection, one should be vigilant for the symptoms. Doctors advise surveillance with regular Nasal Endoscopy post-discharge from the hospital for at-risk patients. A sampling of the nasal mucosa with swabs and sending them for a basic KOH mount test should be done in suspicious situations.
What to do if you get Fungus?
If you develop the symptoms mentioned above, DO NOT PANIC. Seek out medical advice at the earliest. It could be your family physician, pulmonologist, Intensivist, ophthalmologist, ENT, or dentist.
But do not delay.
Even though it is a deadly disease, you can beat it if you catch it early and initiate treatment rapidly. Have faith.
Why so many variations in Fungus?
These infections were prevalent before, and we treated fewer cases and in selected groups with low immunity. These are not new diseases. The numbers are significant due to the number of patients with reduced immunity and additional risk factors. There may soon be reports of “Green Mushroom” or “Multicolored Mushroom” variants from different countries.
Don’t be a fool and trust your local doctor and check before you believe Google. The doctor explains why the white fungus is “more dangerous than black fungus.” As the central government asks states to report an outbreak of black fungus or mucormycosis, white fungus infection has also affected some people.
New cases of White Fungus were originated in Patna, Bihar, and this infection is more dangerous than black fungus. Dr Arunesh Kumar, elder consultant and head of respiratory medicine/pulmonology at Paras Hospital, told indianexpress.com.