What is White Fungus? Who Could It Infect? How It Could Be Treated?
As different states continue to declare black fungus or mucormycosis as an epidemic, an infection known as the white fungus has also been found to affect some COVID-19 patients. These new cases have been reported in Patna and Bihar in India. According to reports by health officials, this infection seems to be more dangerous than black fungus.
What is white fungus?
The white fungus also called candidiasis, is a severe fungal infection. As stated by the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), white fungus or invasive candidiasis could affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, or other portions of the body.
White fungus Causes
It is caused when people with weakened immunity come in contact with objects that contain these fungal mould spores. For example, COVID-19 patients on oxygen support could come in contact with these fungal spores if their ventilators and oxygen support equipment is not sanitized properly.
Further, overuse of steroids and usage of tap water in the humidifier attached to an oxygen cylinder could also heighten the risk of contracting white fungus.
Who could get infected by white fungus?
Invasive candidiasis is caused by a yeast (a kind of fungus) known as Candida. Candida could generally live inside the body, in regions like the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing any problems.
Although, individuals with weakened immunity, like patients recovering from a severe COVID-19 infection, are especially at risk of contracting this fungal infection. In their bodies, the fungus could enter the bloodstream or internal organs to cause an infection.
According to the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), people who are at high risk for developing this infection include those who:
Spent a significant amount of time in the intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Have a weakened immune system (for instance, people on cancer chemotherapy, people who have had an organ transplant, and people with low white blood cell counts)
Recently underwent surgery, particularly multiple abdominal procedures
Recently given a lot of antibiotics or steroids at the hospital
Receiving Total Parenteral Nutrition (Venous Feeding)
Have kidney failure or are on hemodialysis
Have a central venous catheter
Is white fungus contagious?
White fungus is not contagious in most cases, as it can’t spread directly from person to person.
Although, there exist some species of fungus that cause this infection on the skin. In these cases of external infection, the fungus could possibly be transferred from the patient to another person who is at risk.
White fungus Symptoms
Only CT scans or X-Rays could reveal and completely confirm the white fungus infection.
Health experts report that white fungus is more harmful than black fungus, as it affects the lungs as well as other portions of the body like the nails, skin, stomach, kidney, brain, private regions, and mouth.
Moreover, the white fungus could also infect the lungs the same way COVID-19 does. As a matter of fact, patients who get affected with white fungus showed COVID-19-like symptoms despite having tested negative for the virus.
As stated in some reports, the oxygen saturation level of one of the four patients affected with white fungus fell below normal levels. Although, the oxygen levels became normal after the anti-fungal medicine was injected.
White fungus Treatment
As stated by health department officials, all patients who are affected with white fungus should be analyzed carefully, perhaps with a fungus culture test of their phlegm or mucus, to detect the level of fungal infection in their body.
After detection of the white fungus infection, anti-fungal medications have been used to treat the patients, and they have led to an improvement in their condition.
The kind and dose of antifungal medicine used to treat the white fungus will depend upon the patient’s age, immune status, location, and seriousness of the infection.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from a white fungus infection, our expert providers at Post Covid Centers will take care of your health and help you recover.