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In the wake of the rising cases of mucormycosis or 'black fungus' infection among COVID-19 survivors, the central government on Sunday released an evidence-based advisory for screening, diagnosis and management of the disease. The guideline, prepared by the Union Health Ministry and ICMR, stated that mucormycosis is a fungal infection that mainly affects people who are on medication that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens. Sinuses or lungs of such individuals get affected after fungal spores are inhaled from air. It may turn fatal, if not cared for, the advisory said.
The advisory also listed warning signs and symptoms associated with this disease and include - pain and redness around eyes and nose, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomits and altered mental status.
Some factors that put Covid-19 patients at risk of developing the black fungus infection include uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, prolonged ICU stay, malignancy and voriconazole therapy, the ICMR-health ministry advisory stated. Keep reading the
Mucormycosis or Black Fungus is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. Here are the preventive measures suggested by the ICMR-health ministry advisory:
A black fungus infection may be suspected in COVID-19 patients, diabetics or immunosuppressed individuals if they develop -
For management of mucormycosis, the advisory suggested controlling diabetes, reducing steroids, discontinuing immunomodulating drugs, and extensive surgical debridement- to remove all necrotic materials. But no antifungal prophylaxis is needed, it stated. Here are some dos and don'ts COVID-19 patients should keep in mind for prevention and diagnosis of mucormycosis.
If you're diagnosed with black fungus infection, medical treatment may include installing peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line), maintaining adequate systemic hydration, infusion of normal saline intravenously before Amphotericin B infusion and anti-fungal therapy for at least six weeks besides monitoring the patient clinically with radio imaging for response and to detect disease progression, the advisory noted.
Read the tweet from the ICMR -
Evidence based Advisory in the time of #COVID-19 (, & ) @MoHFW_INDIA@PIB_India@COVIDNewsByMIB@MIB_India#COVID19India#IndiaFightsCOVID19#mucormycosis#COVID19Updatepic.twitter.com/iOGVArojy1
ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) May 9, 2021
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