Aspergillosis cases reported in India after black, white fungus; know symptoms, causes, prevention of this new fungal infection
New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: After Black and White fungus, a new fungus has emerged amongst the post-COVID-19 recovery symptoms. Known as ‘Aspergillosis’ the new fungi have been reported in the Vadodara district of Gujarat. A total of 8 cases of the infection were reported on May 27. Here's all you need to know about Aspergillosis.
What is Aspergillosis?
Aspergillosis is an infection, allergic reaction, or fungal growth caused by the Aspergillus fungus, which usually grows on dead leaves and decaying vegetation. Although we encounter fungus on a daily basis, contracting the illness is not very common. It is more likely to infect people with a weak immune system or a lung disease - both common in COVID-19 patients.
Types of Aspergillosis and symptoms:
1. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA): shortness of breath, cough, fever, wheezing
2. Allergic Aspergillus sinusitis: Runny nose, reduced ability to smell, stuffiness, headache
3. Aspergilloma: shortness of breath, cough, coughing up blood
4. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: fatigue, weight loss, shortness of breath, coughing up blood
5. Invasive Aspergillosis: It usually occurs in people who are already sick from other medical conditions like COVID-19. Its symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and coughing up blood. However, other symptoms may develop if the infection spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body.
How is Aspergillosis caused?
One of the major reasons for various fungal infections among COVID-19 patients is the use of steroids and low immunity. Another contributing factor could be the non-sterile water used for hydrating the oxygen supply.
It is advised to avoid areas with a lot of dust and avoid activities that involve close contact with soil or dust. In addition, if you are at a high risk of developing invasive aspergillosis (due to organ transplant or stem cell transplant), your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent the infection. Testing early for infection via blood tests may also benefit.
While Aspergillosis is generally treated with Voriconazole, as per media reports currently doctors are treating patients with an antifungal medicine- Isavuconazole. Expert guidance is needed for infections not responding to treatment, including antifungal-resistant infections.
(Disclaimer: The article is for information purpose based on the researches conducted and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Anyone having the symptoms is advised to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider.)
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan