Professor in HBT Medical College and Consultant at Hinduja Healthcare Hospital Dr. Samir Bhargava explained what causes Mucormycosis or ‘Black Fungus’ and talks about the importance to control the fungal infection at an early stage.
‘It is an opportunistic fungal infection’: Dr. Samir Bhargava
Dr. Bhargava said, “COVID-19 has been in center stage for the last more than one year but, in the last two to three weeks, we have been hearing of an infection by the name of Mucormycosis or ‘Black Fungus’. Friends, Mucormycosis is an opportunistic fungal infection. Fungal spores are all over the place, it could be in the soil, construction sites, AC ducts, but, if your immunity is good then you will not get this infection.”
He added, “In COVID, the immunity does go down, and we know now that steroids are the ones that can help the patients to recover, but if the patient also has diabetes, then this is a trio of coronavirus, with sugar, with steroids. These opportunistic infections sometimes are leading to this infection called Mucormycosis. It is very important that the sugar be maintained correctly.”
“The dose of steroids that are been given judiciously, which means the correct dose, the correct time, and the correct judiciary. Today, we also need to give sometimes Immunomodulatory medicines. If good sugar control is maintained, then these opportunistic infections would not come up. Even after you are discharged, whether it be from a mild infection or severe infection. It is very important that when you go home, you maintain your sugar levels well. It should not go up beyond 200. Also, please keep a close watch on some of these that I have mentioned,” he further said.
Talking of the medical help and medication process, Dr. Bhargava explained, “If you develop fever or dryness in the nose or sometimes discharge from the nose, numbness in the cheek, pain in the eye, or loosening of the teeth, you must immediately contact your local physicians or the DNG doctors and some immediate studies like CT Scan or MRI to determine if there is any such infection. If there is an infection then some anti-fungal medications like Amphotericin B and some surgeries to remove the dead tissue will be required. It is important to control the infection at the early stages before it can reach the eye or the brain. “