you are here: HomeNewsTrendsHealth

Black fungus is not a new infection but cases rising among COVID-19 patients, says AIIMS chief Randeep Guleria

The doctor said that misuse of steroids is a major cause behind this infection mucormycosis.

May 15, 2021 / 06:18 PM IST

The black fungus infection is not a new infection but the number of cases has suddenly increased because of COVID-19 and its treatment, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria told ANI on May 15.

The doctor further said that misuse of steroids is a major cause behind this mucormycosis infection.

"Chances of fungal infection increase in the patients who are diabetic, COVID positive & are taking steroids. To prevent it, we should stop the misuse of steroids," he said.

He also said that these fungal and bacterial infections are causing more mortality.

Also Read: Mucormycosis/ Black Fungus infection: What it is, symptoms, preventive methods, and more


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more

The doctor further said spores of this fungal infection are present in the air, in soil and sometimes in food.

Also Read: Black Fungus declared notified disease in Haryana, says Health Minister Anil Vij

"Mucormycosis spores are found in soil, air & even in food. But they're of low virulence & usually don't causes infection. There were very few cases of this infection before COVID. Now a large number of cases are being reported due to COVID," he said.

Also Read: COVID-19 treatment: Centre to boost availability of Amphotericin B to fight mucormycosis aka black fungus

He said that, "Mucormycosis can affect the face, infecting nose, orbit of eye, or brain, which can cause even vision loss. It can also spread to the lung."

Dr Guleria said currently AIIMS Delhi have 23 cases of the infection. Out of these, 20 patients are still infected with COVID-19 while rest are negative.

"Many states have reported more than 500 cases of Mucormycosis," Dr Guleria said.

Medical Director Dr Suresh Kumar from LNJP Hospital, Delhi has also said that overuse, misuse and rampant use of steroids in COVID patients causes black fungus.

"We have 4 patients here who also are diabetic. Quite often a patient dies due to black fungus instead of COVID-19," the doctor said.

"Steroid use must be reduced. If given to patient with O2 level over 90, black fungus is a possible side-effect. Early diagnosis critical. CT scan of face would detect this infection. Antifungal drug Amphotericin being used for treatment," Dr Kumar said.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that mainly affects people who are on medication for other health problems that reduce their ability to fight environmental pathogens. Sinuses or lungs of such individuals get affected after fungal spores are inhaled from the air.

Also Read: Mucormycosis fungal infections maiming COVID-19 survivors in India: All you need to know about this 'black fungus'
Moneycontrol News

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser