New Delhi | Pratyush Ranjan: Even as India continues to reel under the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, those recovering from it are now facing a new challenge in the form of Black Fungus, a dangerous fungal disease. Several states have already declared Black Fungus, also known as Mucormycosis, as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Keeping the complexities of the disease in mind, Jagran New Media's Senior Editor Pratyush Ranjan held an in-depth discussion on the disease with Dr Rajib Dasgupta, Chairperson, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), under the Jagran Dialogues campaign.

Here are the excerpts of the interview:

Q. What is Black Fungus and which parts of the body are affected by it?

A. Black Fungus is another name given to Mucormycosis which is a rare but serious type of fungal infection. It can affect your skin, head and neck, gastrointestinal tract and lungs. I would like to mention here that Black Fungus is not contagious but it can spread through hospital-acquired infections like air conditioners and lifts.

Q. Why COVID-19 patients are more vulnerable to Black Fungus?

A. COVID-19 is an infection or a disease that affected the immune system of the human body. It decreases the overall immunity of the human body that could lead to fungal infection. Also, a lot of steroids are being used to cure COVID-19 but that could also lead to several fungal infections. However, more studies are being conducted on this issue to find out more about Black Fungus and other similar infections.

Q. Is Black Fungus life threatening?

A. That actually depends on what type of Black Fungus or mucormycosis it is. If it is rhino-orbital, which is commonly seen in India, then it will have common symptoms like red eyes. If it is diagnosed properly, then it is curable. However, if it is not diagnosed early, then it could fatal for a person, especially if he or she is COVID-19 positive.

Q. If a person is COVID-19 positive, then when should he or she contact a physician?

A. If you are suffering from mild COVID-19 symptoms and have been isolated at home, then you should contact your doctor for treatment of Black Fungus. People should avoid home remedies for treating Black Fungus and don't consume steroids before consulting a physician. If you are suffering from diabetes, even if you are not COVID-19 positive, then it is highly recommended that you contact a doctor.

Watch the full interaction of Dr Rajib Banerjee with Jagran New Media's Pratyush Ranjan:

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma