Doctors treat a black fungus-infected patient at the mucormycosis ward of the government ENT hospital in Hyderabad,(PTI)
Doctors treat a black fungus-infected patient at the mucormycosis ward of the government ENT hospital in Hyderabad,(PTI)

Can people without Covid get black fungus? Experts explain

Healthy people should not worry about black fungus but those with high blood sugar should be alert as they are at a greater risk of being infected, even if they do not have Covid.
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
PUBLISHED ON MAY 23, 2021 10:12 PM IST

Amid the sharp rise of the cases of mucormycosis or black fungus among Covid-19 patients in India, experts have warned that this fungal infection can happen even without Covid and so those who have high blood sugar level should be on alert.

"This is an infection which was present before Covid too. What medical students are taught about black fungus is that this infects diabetic people — those who have uncontrolled diabetes. The combination of uncontrolled diabetes and some other significant disease may lead to black fungus," Niti Aayog (health) member VK Paul said.

Explaining the severity of diabetes which makes one vulnerable to black fungus, Dr Paul said blood sugar level reaches 700-800, a situation medically known as diabetic ketoacidosis, attack of black fungus, be in among children or older people, is common.

Diabetes, cold oxygen, unwashed masks: AIIMS doctor lists reasons for rise in black fungus cases

"Any other diseases like pneumonia aggravate the situation. Now, there is Covid which itself has its impacts. Then comes the use of the steroid. All these have compounded the situation, but in short people without Covid can also get mucormycosis, if the other conditions are present," Dr Paul said.

Healthy people have no need to worry about this infection, AIIMS' Dr Nikhil Tandon has said adding that those who have weakened immunity are only at a greater risk.

"It may have happened that the Covid variant in the second wave of the pandemic has attacked the immunity more than the first wave which is why so many cases of mucormycosis are being reported. In addition to this, there has been rampant use of steroids in this wave. But nothing can be said with certainty without proper investigation," Dr Tandon said.

On Sunday, the total number of black fungus cases in Haryna rose to 398, with Gurugram reporting the maximum of 147 cases. Kerala reported four blacck fungus deaths, whle Uttarakhand declared mucormycosis as an epidemic. In Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur, one case of white fungus was reported on Saturday, which doctors said is curable and common.

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