Patna Medical College reported four cases of white fungus among COVID-19 patients raising alarms regarding the severity of the disease as another fungal infection, Mucormycosis (black fungus) has been considered to be deadly. A 70-year-old patient in Uttar Pradesh has also been diagnosed with the fungal infection.
White fungus, medically known as Candidiasis, is a fungal infection caused by a type of yeast. It is one of the most common forms of fungal infections according to medical experts.
Several newspaper reports have stated that this fungal infection is potentially more dangerous than Mucormycosis but experts have denied the same.
Dr. Ishwar Gilada, infectious disease expert has even said that the severity of this infection is being blown out of proportion.
What Is Candidiasis?
Candidiasis is caused by a yeast called Candida which lives on the surface of the body. This yeast is found in areas such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina. It is known to cause problems if it grows an reproduces out of control in the body.
"Candidiasis which is now being called as white fungus and being blown out of proportion has been seen in diabetic patients, patients with a weak immune system, and very commonly in women who have issues with white discharge. It can be seen to affect the mouth, throat, and vagina. If invasive, it could affect the bloodstream and affects several hospitalised patients," Dr. Gilada said.
The Candida that affects the vagina and the mouth is localised, according to the US Centres of Disease Control and Prevention. The invasive kind that is a little more severe is observed in patients aleady tackling other medical conditions. Patients who are in hospital ICUs, have diabetes, have received many antibiotics are at a higher risk of contracting this infection.
Dr. Gilada added that along with a blood test, candidiasis can be diagnosed by doctors through the patient's medical history and their symptoms of itchiness, fever, and chills.
Patients suffering from candidiasis are treated with antifungal medicines for two weeks to check that the fungus is not seen in the patient's bloodstream anymore.
Is It More Dangerous Than Black Fungus?
"While it is dangerous in its own way, comparing the severity of white fungus with black fungus is not the correct way to look at things. In very rare cases, does the white fungus spread become invasive. On the other hand, black fungus is more invasive and lethal," Dr. Jeenam Shah, pulmonologist, Wockhardt and Bhatia Hospitals, Mumbai, told BOOM.
Dr. Gilada also stated that since this infection can be treated in 3-5 days and a lot has been studied about it, the requests of it being notified under the Epidemics Act just like Mucormycosis should be scrutinised and not be blindly heeded.
Updated On: 2021-05-22T20:52:38+05:30