After black fungus infection is declared an epidemic and a notifiable disease in several states, medical experts have cited panic over discovering a white fungal infection.
White fungus is considered to be more deadly and fatal than black fungus; reports suggest that at least four white fungus infections have been discovered in Patna, Bihar, and many more might be undiagnosed at this phase.
White fungus infection can be more severe and cause many symptoms. While a specific facial deformity is a visible characteristic feature of a black fungus infection, doctors say a white fungus infection can only be detected by conducting an HRCT-like chest scan.
01 What is a white fungus?
Both white and black fungus infections are caused by fungi moulds, called ‘mucormycetes’ present in the environment. Although the disease isn’t transmissible, a person is exposed to the infection as these moulds can be easily inhaled by a patient, which can further spread to vital organs and cause problems.
02 How does it infect a person?
Any immunocompromised person can contract this infection if they are in contact with any surface that contains these moulds, such as water and other unsanitary environments.
White fungus infection is even more fatal, since the way it spreads and causes extreme damage to the vital organs, affecting the brain, respiratory organs, digestive tract, kidneys, nailbed, including private parts.
03 Who is at risk?
A white fungus infection causes the most harm to a person who has a threshold of low immune. Hence, a person with low immunity, or already at chances of other comorbidities, or using immuno-suppressant medications has a high chance of getting the white fungal infection.
People suffering from diabetes, cancer, and other comorbidities, which require steroids continuously, could also be at risk of catching this infection. Several reports also say that women and children face additional risks of infection.
04 What causes the infection?
Doctors also advise that much like black fungus, the white fungus could also be spread when a person comes in contact with unsanitary surfaces. Notably, for patients on prolonged oxygen support, where the water sources could be contaminated may also be a source of transmission, which is why doctors see a rise in white fungus cases reported amongst hospitalized Covid-19 patients. People should be focused on sanitation and hygiene at such crucial times.
05 What are the symptoms of the disease?
Most people detected with the white fungus infection revealed respiratory symptoms equivalent to COVID-19, but we’re tested negative for the virus. Expert opinions say that getting X-rays or chest scans can correctly predict how severe the disease is and how vital organs might be affected.
Symptoms of the disease could also be similar to that of the black fungus infection. However, when the fungus spreads to the lungs for those suffering from severe infection, more complex symptoms may be seen.
06 What are the complications that can be faced?
Meanwhile, enough information regarding this infection is not available; many doctors suggest that white fungus can affect the chest and lungs. Thus, a person can experience symptoms like cough, chest pain, and breathlessness. Besides, this infection can also cause many other inflammatory symptoms, such as swelling, infections, persistent headaches, and pains.
Moreover, patients recovering from Covid-19 can be at more risk of facing these complications because of underlying conditions and therapies.
07 What is the treatment?
Reports suggest that many patients diagnosed with white fungus infection treated with antifungal medication and are recovering efficiently. Hence the only known treatment includes fungal medications. However, since there is a shortage of medications, early detection of cases is required.