29 May 2021
Black fungus is not a new disease but the number of cases during the last one month has increased enormously. Black fungus is an opportunistic infection of nose, sinuses, eyes, brain and lungs. This type of fungus usually attacks patients who are immune-compromised and either are suffering from diabetes, chronic renal disease, cancers and/ or those on immune suppressive drugs.
Dr. Sanjay Khanna a Senior Consultant and Head of ENT department at Paras Hospital, Panchkula, said while talking to media persons on the increasing number and scare of black fungus cases in post covid positive patients. He said that Covid Associated Mucormycosis (CAM) is a dangerous disease as it affects the blood vessels and causes thrombosis which is fatal to heart, lungs and brain.
Dr. Vrinda Narula, Associate Consultant of ENT department at Paras Hospital SAID that these patients if detected and treated early it has good surgical outcomes. However these patients usually present late because of lack of awareness and ignorance of symptoms. She said that black fungus infection can be prevented if patients who have been suffering from covid take care of their basic nasal, oral and eye hygiene, as mucormycosis usually enter through these areas.
Addressing the media Dr. Sanjay Khanna added that mucormycosis patients are commonly presented with history of poor diabetic controls and early or excessive usage of steroid intake as self-medication. So this forms a triad of features: covid infection, diabetes and steroid intake.
He said that researches were still going on and the association of black fungus and the increase levels of IL-6 and serum ferritin levels cannot be ruled out in diabetic or non-diabetic covid infected patients. “Whatever be the cause of this black fungus the mainstay of treatment is surgical debridement of the infected part of nose, sinuses and eyes and this has to done in combination with the antifungals injections and tablets,” he added.
We are facing lots of problems in managing these patients as they are already having some or the other chronic illnesses, Dr. Amarpreet Singh who is GM Operations at Paras Hospital.
Warning symptoms and signs of Covid Associated Mucormycosis (CAM)
Foul smelling nasal discharge
Discoloration of nasal and oral mucosa or palate
Loosening of teeth with or without dental pain
Crusting in nose with blood tinged discharge
Drooping of eyelids with redness of eyes.
Loss of vision
Heaviness over head or headache
Persistent cough, fever or difficulty in breathing