Under normal conditions, our body’s immune system successfully fights fungal infections such as Black Fungus. But these are not normal times, the advent of COVID-19 in our lives has affected the immunity of the COVID-affected individuals. COVID-19 infection causes a decrease in white blood cells (WBCs), our body’s defense system. These WBCs help the body fight infections and their scarcity makes our immunity weak. To add to that, the use of certain medicines such as steroids and tocilizumab as a part of COVID-19 treatment further compromises immunity.
COVID-19 affected diabetics are also at a greater risk of developing Black Fungus, especially if their diabetes is poorly controlled. Though the exact cause is unknown, it is believed to be due to the glucose overload in the tissues that provides a favorable environment for the growth of mold fungi. As per some studies, excess iron or an acidic environment in the body can also promote fungal growth.
Do not panic! Not all people with COVID catch Black Fungus.
Nowadays, there is a buzz going around saying the probability of getting infected from Mucor is high in the COVID-19 recovered patients. However, not all COVID patients get infected with it. High-risk groups include COVID-19 positive people with either or all of the following conditions:
– Uncontrolled diabetes
– Took high-dose steroids therapy
– Underwent immunomodulatory therapy like tocilizumab, baricitinib, etc.
– Had long stay in ICU.
Could There Be A Lifetime Risk Of Getting Black Fungus After COVID-19?
As per experts, while most people contracted it between 2-3 weeks after recovery from COVID-19, there could be a higher risk of mucormycosis within 6 weeks of COVID treatment. The data available is not sufficient enough to draw any conclusion.
Can Black Fungus Be Treated?
It is a medical emergency even when clinically suspected. The treatment of this condition requires a dedicated multidisciplinary team approach to control any further spread of the infection.