After black fungus, reports of white fungus infections surface. What we know so far
Mucormycosis or black fungus cases in India are on a massive surge. After coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the biggest healthcare concern is the fungal infection for India presently. The Central government on Thursday urged the states and Union territories (UTs) to make black fungus a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. A notifiable disease requires the medical practitioners to notify the government about the disease in a prescribed format within three days or 24 hours, in case of urgency.
However, a new threat is an emerging white fungus that is concerning medical experts. Though there has been no official confirmation about such cases, various media reports claimed Bihar has reported around four cases of white fungus, which according to the health experts is more dangerous than Mucormycosis. Director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Balram Bhargava on Thursday said the colour of the fungus depends on its growth. Fungal infections are common when there is dampness, Dr Bhargava said, without specifically mentioning anything about white fungus.
All what has been reported about white fungus
White fungus is being suggested to be more dangerous than black fungus by health experts as it can affect other parts of the body like skin, stomach, kidney, brain, private parts and mouth besides lungs, according to the reports.
Not much evidence has been found of the white fungus spreading to other states, but experts feel that it can be as virulent as the virus, as per the reports. The mortality rate of white fungus is currently unknown.
The patients infected with white fungus showed Covid-like symptoms, however, were tested negative. The medical experts believe an HRCT scan may be required to trace the fungal infection, as the reports claimed.
An HRCT scan is an additional diagnosis done in patients suffering from severe Covid-19.
Much like Covid-19 and black fungus, people with low immunity, pre-existing medical issues, people with diabetes and people on or using steroids are at a high risk of contracting the infection, according to the reports.