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Black – White Fungus And Yellow Fungus

Black – White Fungus And Yellow Fungus

Why in news?

  • Black, White and Yellow fungal infections have been attributed to COVID-19 and led to prolonged morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients.

What Is Fungus?

  • A fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds etc.
  • It includes the yeasts, rusts, smuts, mildews, molds, and mushrooms.
  • Fungi are everywhere in very large numbers—in the soil and the air, in lakes, rivers, and seas, on and within plants and animals, in food and clothing, and in the human body.
  • Together with bacteria, fungi are responsible for breaking down organic matter and releasing carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus into the soil and the atmosphere.
  • Fungi are essential to many household and industrial processes, notably the making of bread, wine, beer, and certain cheeses.
  • Fungi are also used as food; for example, some mushrooms, morels, and truffles are epicurean delicacies, and mycoproteins (fungal proteins), derived from the mycelia of certain species of fungi, are used to make foods that are high in protein.

Black Fungus (Mucormycosis)

  • Mucormycosis, or zygomycosis or black fungus, is a serious but rare fungal infection.
  • It is caused by a group of moulds called mucormycetes.
  • It reduces the ability to fight environmental pathogens.
  • It mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
  • It can also happen on the skin after a burn, cut or other type of skin wound through which the fungus enters the skin.
  • It can also affect the brain
  • People having co-morbities, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, variconazole therapy, immunosuppression by steroids or prolonged ICU stay can get predisposed to the fungal infection.
  • Types of black fungus:
    • Sinuses and brain (rhinocerebral)
    • Lungs (pulmonary)
    • Stomach and intestine (gastrointestinal)
    • Skin (cutaneous)
    • Widespread (disseminated)

Spread of Black Fungus

  • Fungus is present in the environment.
  • Mucarmicosis occurs in air, soil, dusty areas.
  • In normal people, the body’s resistance does not allow infection.
  • Infections between three to five weeks Mucaramicosis occurs in the body through the nose.
  • Hence it is called mukaramycosis.
  • Its infection can start from the nose and go to the eyes, facial bones and brain.
  • In some cases, it is also found in the lungs and intestine.
  • In addition to a few active corona patients, the infection is seen within three to five weeks of recovery.

Causes Of Black Fungus Infection

  • Poor hygiene
  • Contact with infectious moulds
  • Improper use of steroids

Symptoms Of Black Fungus Infection

  • For Pulmonary Mucormycosis
    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
  • For Brain Mucormycosis
    • Fever
    • One-sided facial swelling
    • Nasal or sinus congestion
    • Headache
    • Black lesions on nasal bridge or upper inside of the mouth
  • For Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis
    • Abdominal pain
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding
    • Nausea and vomiting

Who are at risk of getting infected with Black Fungus

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Organ transplant
  • Low birth weight
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Neutropenia
  • Hemochromatosis (excess of iron)
  • Long-term corticosteroid use
  • Pre-maturity
  • Skin injury due to surgery, burns, or wounds

Treatment Of Black Fungus

  • While it is treated with antifungals, mucormycosis may eventually require surgery.
  • To maintain adequate systemic hydration, the treatment includes infusion of normal saline (IV) before infusion of amphotericin B and antifungal therapy, for at least 4-6 weeks.

White Fungus

  • White Fungus or Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida.
  • Candida normally lives on the skin and inside the body, in places such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing any problems.
  • Candida can cause infections if it grows out of control or if it enters deep into the body (for example, the bloodstream or internal organs like the kidney, heart, or brain).
  • The most common species that causes infection is Candida albicans.

Causes of White Fungus infection

  • From what is known, low immunity or contact with things that contain infectious moulds such as water can cause White Fungus infection. Thus, proper emphasis should be laid on sanitization.

Symptoms Of White Fungus Infection

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark spots on lungs
  • Reduced oxygen level

Who are at risk of getting infected with White Fungus?

  • People with comorbidities such as diabetes.
  • People who are on steroids for long.
  • COVID-19 patients who are on oxygen support.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • CT scans or X-Rays can reveal the condition.
  • Patients with the white fungus are currently being treated with known anti-fungal medication.

Yellow Fungus

  • Yellow fungus, also called mucor septic, initially develops by the presence of moulds (a type of fungi) in the environment.
  • It may be present with unnecessary fatigue, rashes, burning sensation on skin etc.
  • Humidity levels below 30-40% can promote the growth of fungus.
  • It may not start from the lungs but it invades internal organs of the body and affects the entire functioning.

Causes of Yellow Fungus infection

  • Uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Prolonged use of steroid.
  • Contaminated environment.
  • Unhygienic habits.
  • Unhygienic or dirty surroundings.
  • Co-morbidities.
  • Lesser immunity.

Symptoms Of Yellow Fungus Infection

  • Pus leakage
  • Weight loss
  • Internal bleeding
  • Malnutrition
  • Organs failure
  • Necrosis (in severe cases)
  • Low apetite or no apetite
  • Lethargy
  • Slow healing of wounds

Who are at risk of getting infected with Yellow Fungus?

  • Patients who are on immuno-suppressants.
  • Patients with comorbidities.
  • Treatment of Yellow Fungus
  • The treatment for Yellow Fungus is like that of Black Fungus or White Fungus.
  • The primary treatment is the anti-fungal infection Amphotericin-B.
  • Health experts state that healing Yellow Fungus takes longer compared to Black or White Fungus.



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