After cases of black, white and yellow fungus were reported in several parts of the country, a case of green fungus is unearthed in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore.
The patient had recently recovered from Covid and was showing symptoms of Black fungus or mucormycosis. When tests were done, it was revealed that he has contracted ‘green fungus’ making him officially the first patient to do so.
Here’s all you need to know about green fungus, its symptoms and prevention:
The disease is suspected to bean Aspergillosis infection as stated by Dr Ravi Dosi, Head of the Department of Chest Diseases at Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences (SAIMS) in Indore. According to him further research on this infection is essential in this regard.
Green fungus or Aspergillosis is a rare infection caused by commonly found species of fungi known as Aspergillus. It is found both indoors and outdoors, and most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day.
What causes green fungus?
Aspergillosis can happen from simply breathing microscopic spores of the aspergillus fungus. In most cases, the body’s immune system doesn’t allow the spores to grow within the body. But when the body is recovering or suffering from lung diseases- it may hamper the process.
The cause of the rising number of fungal infections in COVID-19 patients has been attributed to various factors, including lung damage, overuse of steroids, weakened immune system, and lowered infection control in overworked hospitals.
It is to be noted that fungal diseases are non-communicable making them unable to spread from one human to another or between people and animals.
Symptoms of green fungus
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, invasive aspergillosis infections or ‘green fungus’ can have the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
According to the advisory issued by CDC, patients who have recently suffered from a lung disease, like COVID-19, or have currently weakened immune systems should shield themselves from dust, soil and other small particulate matter from entering their lungs by avoiding such areas and using N95 respirator masks.
Steps for prevention:
- Maintain good hygiene, oral and physical cleanliness
- Avoid areas with a lot of dust and stored contaminated water (use N95 mask if needed)
- Avoid activities that involve close contact with soil or dust.
- Wash your face and hands with soap and water (especially if you have been exposed to soil or dust)
By Ankita Mohanty