Difference between Black, White and Yellow Fungus? How can it be prevented?

Fungus, black fungus, white fungus, yellow fungus
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What is the difference between Black, White, and Yellow Fungus disease?

The Covid-19 epidemic has not yet come to an end and now cases of deadly diseases like Black Fungus and White Fungus and yellow fungus are in the news. What is the difference between Black, White, and Yellow Fungus disease? How do they start and how to prevent them? Come, let’s find it.

If you catch Covid-19, there is around a 90% chances that you will be alive. You’ll come out of it alive. But if you catch Fungus infection, there is only a 50% chance of survival. Its death rate is around 50%. So, first of all, we talk about-

What is this Black Fungus? Is it a new disease after Covid-19?

According to Doctors and Experts, This isn’t a new disease. These fungal infections have happened before. And they’re happening now as well. The scientific name of the Black Fungus is Mucormycosis. Those fungi belonging to the Mucorales family. And fungi of this type are found almost everywhere. In soil, in the environment, in the decaying fruits and vegetables,  They are very common. It is a fungus. Anywhere you see, this fungus is already there. So it’s called an Environmental Contaminant. These infections do not cause trouble in normal conditions but whenever these viruses, bacteria, and fungi get the opportunity, they attack and infect people.

Mucorales fungus is in most cases present in our environment and if it gets throughout the body of a fit person then there will be no problem at all. They would not even know that they have fungus in their body. But if the person’s immunity turns weak, the person can become infected.

What are the possibilities that a person with a compromised immune system might get it?

Even then it is a rare disease. Because in case your environment is clean, then such diseases don’t happen, normally. The atmosphere should be clean and people should not be using steroids. The other drugs that suppress the functions of the immune system are also a cause of Mucormycosis. So suppose there is a healthy person who does not have any disease, is the chance that they may catch this infection near to nil.

 Causes for a weak immune system.

If you have any other disease, like Cancer, Tuberculosis and you’re getting the treatment, it weakens your immune system. In the case of diabetes too or if you’re using steroids for a long period of time. These all lead to a weak immune system as well.

The fungus can get inside your body through several ways and areas and make you sick if you’re immune system is weak.

Ways it gets inside your body

1. The air.-There are numerous spores of this fungus present in the air which can enter your lungs and infect you.

2. Food. If the food has decaying fungus on it. It can reach your stomach and cause an infection.

3. Through wounds. If the spores contaminate your wound.

But most likely it spreads through the air. They infect your lungs when you breathe. The nasal cavity and the sinus, are the most usual areas where the mucormycosis infection nurtures. And when the blood doesn’t reach here the skin discolors, often in black color, giving it the name, Black Fungus. It isn’t that the fungus is really black-colored. Instead, the area starts getting discolored and becomes black giving it the name “Black Names”. From here the infection can spread to the eyes and brain as well. It can cause blindness, headaches and seizures.

How long does it take to spread?

From the infection till the symptoms start showing. When people are very immune-compromised, then the progression time is less than a week. So the person gets to know about the infection within a week.

The symptoms that you might come across depending on the area of the body where the fungus is growing. In the case of sinus, you may get toothaches, blurry visions, headaches, nasal congestion and black lesions may form here and you may also get a fever.

Incase this infection started spreading from your lungs then you may get a fever, cough, chest pains, bloody vomit or cough, or shortness of breath.

What if your skin has the infection?

In case your skin has the infection, if any wound gets the infection, then the area around the wound will start turning black.

If it starts from your stomach, then it is gastrointestinal mucormycosis and you’ll get abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting.

The symptoms are very general. They require a biopsy to diagnose it. And they need an x-ray and CT scan if there is an infection in the lungs. This is a very dangerous disease for anyone catching it. The death rate is very high,  The mortality rate is 50%, but if it gets very severe, then the death rate may reach 90%. But the good news is that this disease is very rare.

What is an immunosuppressant?

immunosuppressants are drugs or medicines that lower the body’s ability to reject a transplanted organ. Another term for these drugs is anti-rejection drugs. There are 2 types of immunosuppressants:

What is immunocompromise?

The immunocompromised people those who do not have a good immunity even they rarely get the disease. And if you are a fit and healthy person, if your immune system is good, then you do not have to worry at all. As a treatment, doctors prescribe anti-fungal medicines. But currently, in our country, there is a shortage of anti-fungal medicines too. Because this disease is spreading so fast throughout the country, in states like Rajasthan and Telangana, Black Fungus has already been declared an epidemic. And there have been notifications from the Central Government as well All the States have been warned about this disease.

What is the Treatment for this?

The second method of treatment is through surgery. The body has to get rid of the area with the infection. Often, in several patients, it meant that their entire jaw needs to be cut off or someone’s eye too. Such cases are also seen. If you have diabetes then you need to control it. The sugars should be tightly controlled. And the second thing is that only people who need steroids should take them. So if your doctor says that you need to take steroids ask them why. Because, as I’ve seen, there is a widespread tendency of inappropriate steroid treatment. And only because of this we are seeing Mucormycosis in India and nowhere else. It isn’t that the other countries do not have Mucor.

 

Is that overusing Antibiotics and inhaling steam can also increase the chances of Black Fungus infection?

Dr Rajeev Jayadevan is a leading gastroenterologist in Kerala He analyzed 210 patients of Black Fungus. He found that all those patients had used antibiotics. And only 14% of the patients had NOT used steroids. And 21% of the patients did not have diabetes. This proves that there can be several other potential causes apart from steroids and diabetes.

 

Causes of Fungus Infection?

That is causing the Black Fungus infections. And the doctor concluded with three potential causes of the infection according to him.

1. Overuse of Antibiotics. Because antibiotics apparently increase the risk of fungal infection.

2.Taking zinc supplements. Fungi can grow easily in a zinc-rich environment.

3.Excessive steam inhalation.

 

What will happen if we inhale excessive steam?

Many people are sending WhatsApp and social media forwards saying that steam will reduce the chances of getting a Black Fungus infection. These aren’t true. In fact, if you inhale steam, first, it increases the moisture in your body. And for fungus to grow, moisture and humidity provide a good environment. And second, the steam is so hot that when you inhale it can cause burns inside the body.

After Black Fungus there are now news reports of White Fungus. And after White Fungus, just the other day I heard news reports on Yellow Fungus. What about them?

 

Are White Fungus and Yellow Fungus new diseases that are increasing?

AIIMS Chief Dr. Randeep Guleria says that all these names; Black Fungus, White Fungus, Yellow Fungus, are creating unnecessary confusion. These diseases aren’t of different types neither are they caused by different reasons. All these diseases are because of fungus. And the reasons for these infections are very similar is Your weakened immune system.

The disease gets its name from the symptoms. The colors of the fungi are not different.

It’s not that the fungi are of different colors. That one’s a white fungus and the other yellow. They are simply named based on the symptoms. As a symptom of Black Fungus, the area with infection becomes black in the patients.

As a symptom of white fungus patient’s tongue often becomes white or white patches have come to notice in their oral cavities and food pipes. Aspergillus’s easy name is White Fungus.

And you might’ve seen Aspergillus as a mold on bread. The fungus that you’ve seen growing on bread is Aspergillus. Aspergillus or white fungus infection might also affect the immunocompromised. Allergic Bronchopulmonary and Aspergillosis are the same. Secondly, ears and eyes may also get an infection with it.

 

What is the mortality rate of healthy people infected by this?

Mortality is very low in healthy people. If you consider all the Aspergillus infections most of the people are getting well. And even without treatment, they may get well. If it is a superficial infection. But if they get systemic infections then the mortality is around 20%-40%.  That happens in immunocompromised people.

Are the precautions the same? Maintaining hygiene, etc. Steroids, first and foremost, steroids. Only the appropriate usage of steroids. Consume steroids only when needed. It is important to know that when this all these diseases that we’re seeing now aren’t caused by unique factors. In the case of White Fungus too, the main cause is inhalation. Only the areas getting infected differ. And the symptoms are a bit different. And the mortality rate differs a little too.

 

Is fungal infection Contagious?

It is also important to know that all these fungal infections aren’t contagious as per the information provided till now. So like in Covid-19 where when you get in contact with a Covid-19 patient, the chances of your getting infected increases it happens in Covid-19, but it is not so with these fungal infections.

 

 

How to prevent fungal infection?

There is a very famous proverb, “Prevention is better than Cure.” And this proverb is very valid for these cases. Try your best to prevent these diseases. To do this, keep your environmental conditions hygienic. Maintain cleanliness around you. Especially when you are around people who have a weak immune system.

Check the environmental conditions where fungus usually spread. When humidity is high. When the moisture content in the air is high. And the temperature is higher than the room temperature. Doesn’t it happen when you keep the food outside the fridge fungus starts growing on it? Avoid similar environmental conditions if there are immunocompromised people around.

 

How can  Immunosuppressants people prevent fungal Infection?

Additionally, do not use steroids without the prescription of a doctor.  Especially if there are diabetic people. Or if you have any other pre-existing condition. Its side effects can be very harmful. But, in reality, we can see cases today where not only are steroids overused, but people are also using steroids in cases where the level of oxygen saturation is absolutely normal.

Apart from this, patients on oxygen therapy, need to ensure that the water in the humidifier is regularly cleaned and refilled. And maintain personal hygiene properly. Wash your hands properly and timely. Maintain proper hygiene. Overall, if your immune system is good, then you have nothing to worry about.

Can you catch fungus from your refrigerator or onions?

According to experts fungus which forms a black mold inside a refrigerator and the one that forms a black layer over onions are totally different from the fungus that causes mucormycosis.

The fact that the black fungus is the same as the molds forming in our refrigerators and onions is not true. At times like these when the crisis is really chaotic, knowledge is more powerful weapon than anything else, so be aware of the symptoms and get the treatment done as soon as possible. If you recently recovered from Covid- 19 and experience symptoms like black crust forming around the nose and headaches, swelling then seek treatment as soon as possible.

 


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