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‘Identifying fungus by its colour leads to confusion’: AIIMS director on Mucormycosis

Guleria was addressing the daily coronavirus disease (Covid-19) press conference and said that it will be better if Mucormycosis is called by its name rather than its colour.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 24, 2021 08:25 PM IST
Dr. Randeep Guleria addressing a press conference on the actions taken, preparedness, and updates on Covid-19. (ANI Photo)

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims) director Randeep Guleria on Monday asked people to refrain from categorising the recent fungal infections being reported across the country based on its colour and should use the medical names of the diseases instead.

Guleria was addressing the daily coronavirus disease (Covid-19) press conference and said that it will be better if Mucormycosis is called by its name rather than its colour. “Labelling the same fungus with names of different colours can create confusion,” Guleria said. He also said that people should be aware of the fact that Mucormycosis is not contagious and is not communicable as well.

“90-95% of patients getting infected by Mucormycosis were found to have been either diabetic or were using steroids during their Covid-19 recovery. There are several types of fungal infections like candida, aspergillosis, cryptococcus, histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis. Mucormycosis, candida and aspergillosis are the ones observed more in those with low immunity,” Guleria further added.

The Aiims director also said that people who have developed warning signs of Mucormycosis should immediately consult doctors and seek treatment. “Some warning signs for Mucormycosis such as headache, rusting or bleeding from nose, swelling below the eye, lowering of facial sensation, if observed in high-risk patients or those taking steroids should be informed to doctors so that early diagnosis and treatment can be given to the affected patients,” Guleria said.

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Mucormycosis cases have become a cause of concern for the Centre as well as state governments as a rise in the number of cases led to several states declaring it as an epidemic. The disease has a mortality rate of 50% if it remains untreated. The disease happens due to a fungus called Mucormycetes which is present around us but most people with strong immune systems are able to ward off its effects under normal circumstances. The treatment of Mucormycosis is costly which is causing problems for families of persons affected with the disease.

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