Hyderabad: Multiple factors responsible for rising black fungus infection says expert

Dr Chava Anjaneyulu
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Dr Chava Anjaneyulu

Highlights

  • While treating a patient, the advantages of giving steroids are more compared to disadvantages
  • Fungal infections grow more in unhygienic conditions

Hyderabad: Is the use of steroids the primary reason for the rise in black fungus infection? Experts have suggested there may be other multiple factors that would be responsible, as the cases spike. They point out proper studies are needed to go into the infection.

Dr Chava Anjaneyulu, (AIIMS, New Delhi), Asian ENT Care Centre, explained "While treating a patient, the advantages of giving steroids are more if we compare to disadvantages. Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, mild to moderate patients is given low dosage."

In any disease, steroids are used when there is an airway inflammation. To reduce the inflammation, they are given simultaneously other treatments.

He says steroids have been used to treat several diseases, but never noticed such an exponential increase in the number of mucormycosis cases.

"We are not witnessing lakhs of Covid patients, but only 1,000 out of them are infected with black fungus. So we can't exclusively say steroids are causing it. Doctors avoid steroids if there is an infection in a patient. In some rare cases, when they run out of options, they administer it," explained Chava.

He added that sanitation and healthcare associated with fungal infections were also concerns. "They are not monitoring sugar levels as it is a Covid centre. Due to that sugar level shoots up. Another reason would be that there is no proper hygiene. The fungus has more chances of growing in such an environment.

And why it is happening in Covid patients? The infection is happening through respiratory mucus, which usually troubles throat and lungs. So, the nasal mucus may be damaged. Chances are the fungus is growing inside that. Later, through the nose, it spreads to eyes. A major problem would be if it enters the brain and damages all tissue cells, leading to death of patient."

He felt it is a life-saving drug, as it helps in nephrotic syndrome and bronchial asthma, the only treatment available in the treatment protocol of Covid

Explaining the role of Thrombosis, he said, it is caused by black fungus as it invades blood vessels. To prevent thrombosis in the pulmonary vessels, doctors use anti-coagulation therapy. When there is an infection, they will adopt the therapy to increase blood flow in tissues. Hence, the oxygen flow is good in patients

"We need to study the duration of giving this therapy to Covid patients. For that we must know how many days of Covid thrombosis occurs in patients." he said. While emphatic that steroids weren't the only factor, he said, besides the use of industrial oxygen, improper use of medical oxygen was a danger.

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