India saw the arrival of black fungus, white fungus, and now, yellow fungus. As if the second wave of COVID-19 wasn’t pernicious enough to devastate India’s medical health care infrastructure, the arrival of several viral diseases is making the people suffer even more.
These fungi attack the immune system of the patients directly. People who have recently recovered from COVID are most susceptible to getting infected with these fungi as their immune system isn’t as capable of a healthy person. There are several fungus and bacteria present in our environment which we encounter on daily basis. But our immune system is strong enough to combat them.
Black fungus cases have crossed the 9000 mark in India. Earlier the cases were so rare that only 1 or 2 cases of black fungus were reported in the country, but now the misery has amplified since the cases are increasing exponentially. Several experts and scientists have concluded that zinc, which is used in the treatment of COVID, causes black fungus to spread in the patient’s body.
Hence, people who have just recovered from COVID, have weak immunity, are minors, or are aged, are advised to stay at home and practice good sanitation in their homes. People should start consuming vitamin C to boost their immunity.
What are fungal infections?
A fungi (plural: fungus) is a eukaryotic microorganism that produces spores under favorable conditions. It is classified in its kingdom. There are 1,44,000 species of fungus discovered so far on our planet. Some of them are lethal to humans, while some affect the plants. A fungal infection is caused by a fungus that can affect anyone, and its symptoms appear on various body parts of the affected person.
The fungus can be categorized from other microorganisms as it has a special substance called ‘chitin’ present in its cell wall. The fungus can enter your body through external sources and multiply to form colonies. Fungal infections can be contagious and can spread from one person to another via various means. They can be found in soil, air, or anywhere! Some fungus is edible, for example, aspergillus.
Fungal infections kill more than 1.5 million people and affect more than a billion people. However, it remains a topic that is neglected by public health authorities even though most deaths from fungal diseases can be avoided. Serious fungal infections occur as a result of other health problems including asthma, AIDS, cancer, transplants, and corticosteroid treatment.
Mucor Septicus or Yellow fungus
A patient in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh is found out to be suffering from a new disease- yellow fungus. This fungus type is associated with superficial and deep mycoses that affect reptiles, pets, and other animals. It is a zoonotic disease that specifically attacks those who are immunocompromised. There isn’t much data in the public domains regarding the yellow fungus, and the health authorities of India are researching more on it. The patient who was found to be suffering from this disease was already suffering from 2 other fungal diseases present in India, i.e., black and white fungus.
The CT scan conducted on the patient showed no anomaly, but later the endoscopy revealed the presence of 3 fungal infections inside his body. The patient is admitted to Sanjay Nagar hospital of Ghaziabad and is 45-years in age. “Generally, this fungus is found in reptiles. It is the first time that we have a human infected with it. It will take a long to heal. We have administered the patient with an Amphotericin B injection that is used in the treatment of this disease. The patient is undergoing treatment, but his condition can’t be said to be good,” said a doctor treating the patient. “Such patients lose their appetite and turn sluggish,” he further added.
What is yellow fungus?
According to a paper published in the US National Library, bearded snakes kept in captivity experience a painful condition sometimes known in the animal trade known as “yellow fungus,” and it was recently suggested that N. Guarroi and other species are etiological agents. The conditions in which mycotic diseases occur in these species are still unknown, although inadequate nutrition and domestication, natural stress, trauma, and existing dermatitis are all contributing factors.
Causes of yellow fungus
Since very little data regarding the disease is available as of now, the yellow fungus is most commonly caused due to poor hygiene practices. Moisture is the other cause of it, as the fungi grow on it. The Karnataka health authorities are examining the oxygen quality provided to the COVID-19 patients to check if it is to be blamed. CN Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, has concerned over why no other COVID-19 affected countries are reporting fungal disease cases, whereas, in India, these cases have started to shoot up.
Earlier reported cases of yellow fungus
A very few cases of yellow fungus have been reported in several countries and continents before. N. hominis, a human-specific yellow fungus variant was found in an HIV patient. He earlier suffered from inguinal nodes, groin lesions, and leg abscesses. An HIV-positive patient in Nigeria, Germany has developed lung and brain tumor infection with the Yellow Fungus infection.
Many of these rare human conditions occur as opportunistic infections in weakened patients. In the case of infection, handling pets is no more dangerous to a person who has been suppressed by the immune system than by contact with other people or the environment. In these cases, however, special precautions should be taken because strange or wild animals can catch strange germs that can turn into opportunists and turn the oppressed person’s immune system into their own body.