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“Black ear mushrooms” are appearing in the people of COVID-19: What you need to know

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A rare type of fungal infection has been reported in people with COVID-19 in India. Jit Chattopadhyay / SOAP Images / LightRocket via Getty Images
  • A typically rare fungal infection called mucormycosis has recently surged in India, mainly affecting people recovering from COVID-19.
  • According to experts, this type of fungal infection is extremely rare and can affect people whose immune system has been damaged by the coronavirus.
  • Experts say that the use of steroids in these patients may partially explain some of the surges, while the weakened immune system in COVID-19 patients may explain others. I will.

Despite India struggling to contain the deadly surge in COVID-19, doctors are now talking about a rare infection called “black fungus” that occurs among people recovering from the disease. I am reporting a case.

Fungal infections are increasingly seen in vulnerable patients in India as India’s healthcare system struggles to save lives during a pandemic.

by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), This black fungal infection is called zygomycosis and is caused by a group of molds Mucor Misetes It usually lives in soil and rotting organic matter.

Infectious diseases can be life-threatening and have a mortality rate of 46 to 96 percent, depending on the severity.

“Mucormycosis is a rare, invasive fungal opportunistic infection that causes serious and sometimes fatal illness.” Dr. KC Rondello, An epidemiologist and special adviser to the University Health and Welfare Department at Adelphi University, told Healthline.

He explained that people at greatest risk of mucor disease endanger the immune system and are more susceptible to fungi and other opportunistic infections.

“This includes individuals who are currently fighting or have recently recovered from COVID-19 infection,” said Rondello.

Over the last decade, doctors have reportedly seen only a handful of cases of mucormycosis in India. USA Today..

However, tens of thousands of cases were reported last month. Dr. Bhakti Hansoti, Associate Professor, Faculty of Emergency Medicine and International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, I told USA today..

“We’ve seen this surge in the last few weeks,” she said. “Especially during this pandemic in India, where medical resources are reaching their limits, we consume a lot of resources.”

Mucormycosis affects different parts of the body and can present with different sets of symptoms. CDC..

When the infection spreads in the sinuses and brain (Nasal cerebral zygomycosis), Symptoms include fever, swelling of one side of the face, headache, and congestion of the nose and sinuses.

When the lungs are affected by fungi, coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath can occur.

When mucormycosis attacks the digestive system, you may experience abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

“It’s an environmental mold, and once infected, it’s very morbid and has a high mortality rate,” he said. Dr. Eric Shioe Pena, Global Health Director of Northwell Health, New York. “The exact mortality rate is not clear because infections are so rare, but researchers estimate that 54 percent of people with mucormycosis die overall.”

He added that people with COVID-19 could theoretically be at increased risk due to an immune response, or local inflammation of the sinus tract. Cioe-Peña confirmed that the fungus was not normally contagious.

According to Bayani, inhaling mold spores and contact with mold on soil, rotten produce and bread, and piles of compost can lead to mold infection.

“Mucormycosis usually does not spread from person to person, but it is found in the environment,” he said. “But because of the level of spread, it’s too early to say how this is spreading.”

by researcherMucormycosis is relatively rare, but it can increase with increased use of chemotherapy and steroids, such as those used to treat some COVID-19 patients.

Recent little ResearchScientists have concluded that diabetic COVID-19 patients treated with steroids have a significantly increased risk of experiencing fungal infections such as mucor disease.

by Dr. Nikhil BhayaniMucormycosis, an infectious disease expert at Texas Health Resources, can be treated with antifungal agents such as amphotericin B, isabconazole, and posaconazole.

“In severe cases, doctors may recommend surgery to remove infected or dead tissue to prevent the spread of the fungus,” he said. “This may include removing parts of the nose and eyes. This can be disfiguring, but it is important to treat this life-threatening infection.”

Cioe-Peña explained that individuals who fight “serious infections” like COVID-19 are more likely to develop opportunistic infections because their immune system is busy fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“Opportunistic infections can be caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, and even parasites,” he said.

He said other common fungal infections could include:

  • Candidiasis, called a fungal infection caused by yeast (a type of fungus) Candida..
  • A disease caused by a fungus (or mold) called histoplasmosis Histoplasma.. This fungus is common in the eastern and central United States.
  • Aspergillosis, Aspergillus, Common mold found in buildings and outdoors.

“There is limited evidence that patients with COVID-19 are more likely to develop pulmonary (pulmonary) aspergillosis,” said Cioe-Peña.

Rondello pointed out that there is a state of “mount recognition” called Coronavirus disease-related pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA)..

“In one study published at JAMA, the authors estimate that CAPA affects approximately 20 to 30 percent of patients with severe COVID-19 mechanical ventilation,” he said. Stated.

Rondello emphasized that much is not yet known about COVID-19 and its consequences.

“There are still many things we don’t fully understand about COVID-19,” he said. “As we have more experience with this disease and its consequences, we will learn more about the relationship of COVID-19 with other infections, including opportunistic infections.”

A typically rare fungal infection called mucormycosis has recently surged in India, mainly affecting people recovering from COVID-19.

The use of steroids to treat COVID-19 may partially explain the proliferation of these fungal infections, along with the weakening of the immune system by COVID-19.

Mucormycosis is just one of many opportunistic infections that can occur with COVID-19. Much is still unknown about the relationship between COVID-19 results and other illnesses.

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