White Fungus in India: What Is It And How It Affects COVID-19 Patients
- Anoush Gomes
- 3 Min Read
- Fact Checked
During the second COVID-19 wave, India has had to suffer the consequences of fungal infections as well. During this past month, many cases of Black Fungus or Mucormycosis had been reported with devastating symptoms being exhibited by the patients. Unfortunately, Indian states have now also reported cases of White Fungus infection.
What is White Fungus?
White fungus is now being seen in patients that have recovered from a COVID-19 infection. It is also most commonly referred to as a Candida infection or yeast infection. While White Fungus is not considered to be as fatal as Black Fungus, but it can still lead to death as per experts. The infection is caused by Candida species that naturally live on the skin and inside the human body. Under what we would say would be “normal” circumstances, that is, if COVID-19 didn’t exist and the person has a good immunity, Candida does not cause any problems. Usual sites where white fungus is found are mouth, throat, gut and vagina.
White Fungus symptoms
The symptoms of the infection may not be similar to that of Black Fungus infection symptoms. It is important to know these differences. Black fungus causes unilateral facial pain, along with nose discoloration, and blurred vision. White Fungus, as per experts, affects other parts of the body including skin and gut and in severe cases can affect brain, heart, eyes and bones.
Read the common symptoms below:
- White sores in mouth and throat
- Difficulty in eating and swallowing
- Abdomen pain
- Gastro-intestinal bleeding
- Fever and chills
- Chest pain
The infection is diagnosed through physical examination and a CT Scan, but in few cases may require culture and endoscopy. It is also important to remember that a White Fungus infection is not contagious.
White Fungus treatment
- Few patients may need preventive antifungal treatment depending on doctor’s advice
- Mild cases can be treated with local application of creams and oral tablets for a week or two.
- In severe cases IV antifungals with other medications are needed
White Fungus: Who is at risk?
White Fungus is not as dangerous as Black fungus. It can spread and affect different parts of the body, such as the nails, skin, stomach, brain, private parts and mouth.
- Patients with low immunity
- Patients that have used steroids resulting in immunosuppression
- Patients with pre-existing health conditions such as cancer, lung disease and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
- Patients that have undergone organ transplant
- Patients that have been diagnosed with AIDS
- Have spent lot of time in ICU
- Kidney failure patients
White Fungus Prevention
- Maintain clean surroundings
- Maintain good oral health. Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after using Inhaled Budesonide.
- Avoid OTC medications that cause dry mouth
- Wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of germs.
- Do not self medicate (especially with steroids and antibiotics) or self diagnose
- If you are at high risk for the infection, contact your doctor for medications and testing for early infection
- If you are immunocompromised and are prone to fungal infections, consult your doctor on how to maintain a healthy immune system
Prevention is better than cure
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have recovered and are experiencing symptoms of a White Fungus infection, consult a doctor asap. Patients have the best chance at treatment and recovery if the infection is caught on time. The fungal infection can complicate drastically hence its important to consult a Doctor in case of Suspicion.
This will help your doctor understand if you require hospitalization and further give you advice on your next course of action for treatment. You can also do a quick self-assessment for your peace of mind. It’s important never to self-diagnose and confirm diagnosis and treatment with a physician.