Dr Harsh Vardhan tweets advice to detect, manage Black Fungus

Union minister of health and family welfare, science & technology and earth sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan advised people on the early detection and management of Mucormycosis – commonly known as Black Fungus. He took to twitter to advice people on black fungus, its symptoms and required action once someone contracts the infection. 

“Mucormycosis or ‘black fungus’ has been observed in a number of COVID-19 patients recently. Awareness & early diagnosis can help curb the spread of the fungal infection. Black Fungus is a rare but serious condition that has been reported in a number of coronavirus patients”, said minister in a tweet on Friday. He shared four slides on the fungus, symptoms and required action once someone contracts the infection.

Mucormycosis has become a talked about subject after a few recovering and recovered COVID-19 patients were found infected with the fungus. Here are the frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) on the disease that were addressed by the Dr Harsh Vardhan:

What is Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection mainly affecting people with medical health problems that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens. People catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma.

How can a patient contract the infection?

People having co-morbities, variconazole therapy, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids or prolonged ICU stay can get predisposed to the fungal infection.

What are the symptoms of Mucormycosis?

Pain or redness around the eyes, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomit and altered mental status are possible symptoms of the infection, minister added. 

Do’s and Don’ts 

“Don’t consider all cases of blocked nose as cases of bacterial sinusitis, especially in the cases of immunosuppression and/ or COVID-19 patients on immunomodulators,” minister advised in his tweet.