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Seven of 26 mucormycosis patients in Ghaziabad have white fungus too | Ghaziabad News – Times of India


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GHAZIABAD/NOIDA: Seven of 26 patients undergoing treatment for mucormycosis or black fungus at a private clinic in Ghaziabad have been found to suffer from aspergillosis or white fungus as well.
White fungus was detected in the patients — aged 30-50 years — after their nasal tissues were sent for histo-pathological examination. While four of them are admitted to the clinic, three are being treated through OPD checkups. Officials in the clinic said they had informed the health department about the seven patients, five of whom are men.
Senior ENT specialist Dr BP Tyagi, who runs the clinic at Raj Nagar District Centre, said the line of treatment for white fungus was similar to that of black fungus. The unavailability of antifungal medicines is one of the biggest concerns for both patients of black fungus and doctors. Amphotericin B, the most common drug being used for treating black fungus patients, is unavailable in Ghaziabad.
“The symptoms of white fungus are almost similar to those of Covid. Therefore, it cannot be detected without a pathology test,” Dr Tyagi said.
The symptoms of white fungus include blockage of the nose, fever, chest pain and shortness of breath. While black fungus is known to spread to the brain, white fungus affects the lungs. Those with uncontrolled diabetes, weakened immunity, cancer or patients using immunosuppressive medicines are more prone to the infections, doctors said. However, the treatment for white fungus is cheaper than that of black fungus, where the cost can run up to Rs 20-25 lakh.
In Noida, the health department did not attach much importance to white fungus. Chief medical officer Deepak Ohri said the infection was “nothing serious” and did not need much attention.
“We don’t have any cases here yet. White fungus is nothing serious. Mouth ulcers that people suffer from are also a kind of white fungus infection. It can be treated easily. Unlike in cases of black fungus, we have not asked hospitals to notify us about white fungus,” said Ohri. Noida so far has reported 22 cases of black fungus. Doctors treating Covid patients, however, chose to disagree with Ohri, saying white fungus could, in fact, be deadlier than black fungus. “The names of these infections come from the colour of the spores. So, white fungus microorganisms has white spores and hence the name. It affects the central nervous system and the respiratory system and can spread faster than black fungus. So, it can be potentially more dangerous,” said Dr Bhumesh Tyagi, assistant professor of medicine at Sharda Hospital. According to Dr Tyagi, while both the infections are deadlier for people with reduced or compromised immunity, black fungus affects mostly those with diabetes. “We already have a very high percentage of diabetics in the country. Some studies suggest that black fungus could become an epidemic in India since there is already a large population of diabetic patients here,” he added.
Meanwhile, after notifying black fungus as an epidemic, the state has directed health departments to start OPDs separately in the eye and ENT departments of all district hospitals from 10am to noon.

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