There are several types of fungal infections like candida, aspergillosis, cryptococcus, histoplasmosis, and coccidioidomycosis. Mucormycosis, candida, and aspergillosis, these names hardly get any mention but colours now indiscriminately call them. Even much-educated people are falling into this shit trap called medical rumours.
People are panic confused and clueless about these colourful fungi. There are many reports in media with some random doctor’s quotes and disturbing hospital pictures where the patient is seen panic, some staff wearing PPE kit around them, to make the story more profitable, some dead bodies in some corner. Above all to attract views, some newspapers and media houses using pictures of the man with eye-popping out or some man with lost vision, big bandage on his face. God knows from where they are getting the pictures for display but all looks very scary.
You talk to anyone these days; they have almost forgotten about COVID and talking about colourful fungus. Naming the same fungus based on its colours, depending on the area of infection creates confusion, but we don’t care. There are some local babas, home remedy experts, and some self-declared Ayurveda experts making rounds in forwards, advising various remedies to get cured of fungus. Random suggestions, like do hawan at home with a lot of camphor and cow ghee, the house will be protected from fungus. Drink Neem and Haldi (Turmeric) water, the body will never receive fungus.
We can understand these people are not much aware of literates to understand the anatomy of Fungus or fungal infections. But they are the brand creator. They talk volumes about the colours and cures of fungus. In the meantime, some doctors are appearing from nowhere and announcing the patients with various colour fungus.
Cases of Black Fungus or Mucormycosis have been on the rise among recovering Covid patients in various states. Close to 10,000 cases have been reported across the country. But Mucormycosis should be called by its name rather than its colour. Classifications of the same fungus with names of different colours can create misperception. People should be aware of the fact that Mucormycosis is not contagious and is not transmissible 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. Mucormycosis needs immediate doctor’s attention. Some warning signs for Mucormycosis such as headache, rusting or bleeding from the 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.
In general, the types of fungus that we are mostly seeing are Mucormycosis, Candida, and Aspergillosis. Mucormycosis is being found more in cases where Covid is compounded with steroids and diabetes. This is generally seen in sinuses – in medical terms, they call it rhino-orbital cerebral mucormycosis. They are found in the nose, sinuses and may enter the brain. Occasionally they are found in lungs – pulmonary mucormycosis and sometimes in the gastrointestinal tract.
Candida, according to Dr Samir Bhargava whom I interviewed today, was seen in those with weak immunity and those on immune suppressants. White patches are seen in oral cavities and the food pipe. The tongue might also become white. Might infect other places like the private parts. It may spread to the blood. After Black Fungus and White Fungus, a case of Yellow Fungus, and today even some red fungus emerged in reports. Tomorrow, there can be a whole range of colourful fungus in news. Media and medical personals should know where to draw the line.
Rather than confusing people with colours, create awareness in them to maintain cleanliness, sanitation, and hygiene in order to fight the disease. Tell them the fungus thrives in unhygienic surroundings and humidity. Help them to understand what fungus means, instead of introducing colours with scary pictures and descriptions. At this juncture, we need to be more sensitive towards fellow human. please stay safe and say no to forwards.
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