Amid the rising concerns over the reporting cases of Mucormycosis or ‘Black Fungus’ in Covid recovered patients, recently there are several cases of ‘White Fungus’ that have been reported in Bihar.
According to medical experts, ‘White Fungus’ is deadlier than Mucormycosis as it affects other organs of the body, apart from lungs.
At least four patients of ‘White Fungus’ have been detected in Bihar’s capital Patna. Dr. SN Singh, Head of Patna Medical College and Hospital’s Microbiology Department told the media that there could be many more cases of such infection.
The people with low immunity or having diabetes, AIDS patients or those who have undergone organ transplant are more vulnerable to this disease, he said. He also pointed out that negligence while using oxygen cylinder for Covid patients can put them at risk of ‘White Fungus’.
“People use tap water in the humidifier attached to the oxygen cylinder. Tap water may contain ‘White Fungus’ which can be a source of chest infection in the person on oxygen support,” Dr. Singh said.
Dr. Honey Savla, Internal Medicine, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, said, “White Fungus is nothing but an infection caused by the Candida group of organisms. It belongs to the fungus category. This fungus infection can affect your hair, skin, nails, private parts and can respread through the blood veins to various different organs. It can severely affect the lungs, especially those are in the ICU and the ventilators. This infection can cause real deadly fatal candida infection.”
How White Fungus differs from Mucormycosis or black fungus?
“Mucormycosis or black fungus is different from White fungus because it is known to cause whitish membrane where ever it causes a disease or whitish discharge occurring in the private parts,” explained Dr. Savla.
What are the treatments for this?
“Treatment of this differs from black fungus as it is treated by fluconazole, Voriconazole or Caspofungin type of drugs and Amphotericin is not used over here. Of course, it is not fatal infection but we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of white fungus because of the indiscriminate use of steroids and due to use of immune modulator drugs”, Dr. Savla says.
It is not just common in Covid patients but it was always common in the cancer patients who have low immunity and patient’s other serious health conditions. Now due to the increased number of Covid cases we are seeing more use of steroids resulting into more of black fungus and white fungus. Hence, during these times avoid indiscriminate use of steroids to prevent any new fungal infection to pop up again, said Dr. Savla.