How Can Black Fungus Spread?

Can Black Fungus Spread?

In India, patients with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are infected with an unusual and deadly fungal infection known as Mucormycosis or Black Fungus. The common name 'black fungus' refers to the blackening that is indicative of the disease.

black fungus

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Union Ministry of Health released an advisory for the screening, diagnosis, and management of Black Fungus on May 9, 2021. The condition may be fatal if COVID-19 patients with uncontrolled diabetes are not treated, according to the ICMR.

Statistics for Black Fungus Infection:

The country has recorded the highest rates of rare fungal infection with the most recent government figures for 11,717 cases of "Black Fungus" or Mucormycosis with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.

All the states have been called by the Central Government to declare Black Fungus an epidemic. States such as Rajasthan, Telangana and Tamil Nadu declared this disease a reportable disease under the 1897 Epidemic Diseases Act.

While 2.770 cases are recorded by Maharashtra, 2,859 cases have taken place, 768 cases have taken place by Andhra Pradesh, 752 are registered by Madhya Pradesh and 744 have taken place in Telangana.

Until now, Delhi CEO Arvind Kejriwal had said that 620 cases had been recorded in the national capital. However, there are almost 120 cases of data shared by the Union Minister.

Union Minister Sadananda Gowda announced Wednesday the apportionment to the Member States and TUs of 29,250 additional amphotericin-B vials, used in the treatment of mucormycosis.

As a part of the 29,250 new allocations, the government has allocated Gujarat 7,210 vials, followed by 6,980 vials to Maharashtra.

A number of other countries have been given additional vials for countering this infection, such as Andhra Pradesh (1,930), Madhya Pradesh (1.910), Telangana (1,890), Uttar Pradesh (2,780) and Rajasthan (1,250), Karnataka (1,220), and Haryana (1,110).

On 24 May 2021, 19,420 additional amphotericin-B vials were allocated earlier. On 21 May 2021, 23,680 drug cups were delivered throughout India.

Mucormycosis, also called Black Fungus, which damages the nose, eyes, sinuses and sometimes the brain, is treated with amphotericin-B.

Mucormycetes is a mould which causes this infrequent but fatal illness. They can be found in soil, plants, and decomposed organic matter.

Headache, nasal inflammation, facial pain, loss of vision or pain in the eyes, swelling in the cheeks and eyes, and dark crusts in the nose are some of the symptoms. If left crude, it can lead to blindness, nose and jawbone removal, and even death.

Black fungus has a 54 percent mortality rate and affects people with weakened immune systems. There may be diabetics, cancer patients, or people living with AIDS or HIV. This disease can be caused by the steroids used to treat COVID-19 pulmonary inflammation. Steroids elevation blood sugar levels in diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Long-term use of humidified oxygen can also cause the fungal infection.

Many patients - both COVID and non-COVID - have experienced a history of bad hygiene and the use of unspent masks for a long time, according to the doctors in numerous leading hospitals of the city..

According to Mr Randeep Guleria, AIIMS Director, The abuse of steroids is a major cause of mucormicosis spread, a rare infection known as a black fungal disease, he told COVID-19 patients across the country on Saturday as deaths began to rise. Mr.  Guleria warned that it is vitally important for hospitals to follow protocols on infection control measures, because the number of fungal infections is increasing.

"Fungal or secondary bacterial infections have been shown to cause increased mortality," he said.

Symptoms of Black Fungus Infection:

  • Blocking of the nose
  • Blossom
  • Facial pain discharge Nose
  • Fogging stupidity
  • Vision Blurring
  • Watery eyes or double eyes

To avoid contracting the Black Fungus Infection, follow these steps:

  • After you've been cleared from COVID-19, keep an eye on your blood glucose levels.
  • Steroids should be used with attentiveness in diabetic patients.
  • During oxygen therapy, use safe, sterile humidifiers.
  • Anti fungal treatment and extensive surgical debridement

According to the BBC, Dr Akshay Nair, a Mumbai-based eye surgeon, was waiting to operate on a 25-year-old woman who had recovered three weeks ago from a case of Covid-19. An ear, nose, and throat specialist were already treating the diabetic patient within the surgery. He'd inserted a tube into her nose and was scraping mucormycosis-infected tissues, an uncommon but harmful fungal infection. The nose, eye, and even the brain is all affected by this violent infection.

Dr. Nair will perform a three-hour operation to extract the patient's eye after his colleague had done.

"To save her existence, I'm going to remove her eye. This is how the disease operates "Dr. Nair said.

Can Black Fungus Spread?

Mucormycosis does not spread from person to person, which is a positive thing. Apart from contamination through the pipes and prongs used for the mechanical supply of oxygen to patients, medical experts attribute the increase in black fungus cases to the indiscriminate use of steroids and antibiotics.

“This is life-threatening for diabetic patients. Mucormycosis requires early detection and accurate diagnosis in order to be treated, and it can affect other organs such as the kidneys. Dr. Budyal emphasises the importance of prevention.

Treatment for Black Fungus Infection:

Mucormycosis is treated with a combination of surgical debridement of affected tissues and anti fungal therapy, according to Dr. Mathew. “Anti fungal treatment includes intravenous (IV) amphotericin-B,” she notes. The normal starting dose of Liposomal Amphotericin-B or Amphotericin-B Lipid Complex is 5 mg/kg per day, and many clinicians will raise the dose up to 10 mg/kg per day to manage this infection. This, however, can only be taken with a doctor's prescription and is only to be used in a hospital environment. This procedure will last three weeks, followed by another three to six weeks of oral medications.”

Meanwhile, the doctor recommends that the infection be screened more often. “Screening for the black Fungus is a critical phase for early intervention,” she says. It's also crucial to get rid of infection-causing factors like hyperglycemia, metabolic acidosis, immunosuppressive medications, and neutropenia. Since determining a conclusive diagnosis is difficult, many patients with risk factors for infection, positive cultures, and/or compatible clinical syndromes will be treated empirically for Mucormycosis. Although, once again, it will be dependent on the patient's situation.”

While government hospitals have started providing treatment, many of Delhi's private super-specialty hospitals have told news agency ANI that treatment costs can range from one to one to one hundred and fifteen lakh a patient, excluding post-discharge treatment.


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