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Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) in COVID-19 patients: What are the risk factors other than diabetes and steroid use?


Given the rise in the number of critical COVID-19 patients, the number of people tackling different types of fungal infections has increased in the country too. Over the past month, cases of Mucormycosis have only risen, claiming lives and spreading fear amongst people. As of now, four forms of fungal infections have been reported in various parts of India.

– Black fungus: Black fungus disease, which has now been termed as an ‘epidemic’ by authorities, has wreaked havoc in the lives of many. It is caused by a group of moulds called mucormycetes, which is present in the air and which when inhaled by an ill patient can infect the sinus, lungs and chest cavities.

– White fungus: Similar to the black fungus infections, white fungus disease is also caused by fungi moulds, called ‘mucormycetes’ present in the environment. While these infections are not contagious, any immunocompromised person can contract the infection if they come in contact with any surface that contains these moulds.

– Yellow fungus: Reportedly, the first case of yellow fungus infection was detected in Ghaziabad, U.P in India. A yellow fungus infection, akin to other fungal infection spreads via contaminated environments or when a suspected patient inhales moulds (mycometes) which grow in the environment.

– Aspergillosis fungal infection: Besides the black, white and yellow fungus, cases of a new fungal infection called aspergillosis has been detected in two of the government hospitals in Vadodara, Gujarat over the past week. Aspergillosis is also predominantly seen in COVID-19 patients or those who have recently recovered from the disease.

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