At a time when health professionals are concerned about the rising number of mucormycosis or black fungus cases in the country, the Government of India’s key scientific advisor, Dr. K VijayRaghavan, shared a thread on the microblogging website Twitter that explains the causes of the infection and how people can lower their chances of getting infected. The Twitter thread was created by Dr. Pramesh CS, director of Tata Memorial Hospital.
A clear and important thread on Mucor: what they are, how they cause infection, how to treat the infection, how to lower the risk of infection, prevent infection by controlling diabetes and using steroid. Finally, reduce the ways you can get COVID: masks, spacing, ventilation! https://t.co/wVgEYaaBl7
– Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India (@PrinSciAdvGoI) May 26, 2021
Mucormycosis is a very rare infection caused by exposure to slime mold (a fungus) that is common in soil, plants, manure, and rotting fruits and vegetables. In the Twitter thread, Dr. Pramesh explains how the mucus spreads.
“Mucor is a fungal infection caused by ‘mucormycetes’, a group of fungi. These fungi are ubiquitous – in the soil, in fallen leaves, in compost and in the air. Most of us don’t develop the disease, however,” he said.
First, how does the mucus spread and how do patients with # COVID-19 get infected with it? Mucor is a fungal infection caused by ‘mucormycetes’, a group of fungi. These mushrooms are ubiquitous – in the ground, in fallen leaves, in compost, and in the air. However, most of us don’t develop the disease. Pic.twitter.com/w0ero1nSRc
– Pramesh CS (@cspramesh) May 26, 2021
“How does someone get infected with Mucor? Most of the time it is inhaled through the nose. Wearing a mask will likely help prevent this from happening. Is Mucor contagious? No – you cannot become infected if you are in close contact with someone else, he has the disease, “he added in the series of tweets.
He then talks about what makes people more prone to developing phlegm. Dr. Pramesh said by far the most important reason is decreased immunity. “There are several reasons for this – diabetes, steroids, taking immunosuppressants, chemotherapy, etc.,” said Dr. Pramesh.
He also said diabetes and steroid use are not the only possible reasons for the infection to spread. “We’ve also heard of possible industrial-grade oxygen, tap water in humidifiers, reused masks, overuse of antibiotics, all kinds of reasons. Again, the truth is that we just don’t know,” said Dr. Pramesh.
The top doctor then spoke about the chances of contracting phlegm. The first thing he said is making sure that diabetic blood sugar levels are kept under control. Dr. Pramesh also said that steroids should only be used when prescribed by a doctor. “Indiscriminate steroid use is harmful in two ways: first, it decreases your immunity; second, it increases your blood sugar levels. Both of these predispose you to mucus infection,” he said.
However, he did not say that steroids should not be used to treat Covid-19, but instead asked people to be careful when they are not needed.
Among the Dr. Symptoms listed in Parmesh include swelling on one side of the face, a feeling of nasal congestion, headache, red eyes, blackening of the bridge of the nose or roof of the mouth, discharge from the nose, and fever. He warned that mucormycosis should not be treated at home. “Mucor is in urgent need of hospitalization and treatment – please be admitted to hospital,” he said on Twitter.
Do everything possible to prevent infection with COVID_19. The 3 Ws – wear a mask, watch your distance, wash your hands
And get vaccinated whenever you are eligible.
Take care and stay safe folks.
– Pramesh CS (@cspramesh) May 26, 2021
Mucormycosis affects the sinuses, brain and lungs and can be life-threatening in people with diabetes or severely immunocompromised people, such as cancer patients or people with HIV / AIDS.
Doctors in India are documenting an alarming number of cases of mucormycosis in patients with Covid-19 and in patients who have recently recovered. They believe mucormycosis can be triggered by the use of steroids, a life-saving treatment for severe and critically ill Covid-19 patients.
Eleven states and Uniomn areas have mucormycosis listed as an epidemic under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897. The Union Health Ministry reported 5,424 cases of mucormycosis across India, of which 4,556 patients had a history of Covid-19 infection with 55 percent being diabetic.