What is Yellow Fungus Disease vs Black Fungus vs White Fungus: Rising cases of mucormycosis (commonly known as black fungus) and white fungus among Covid-19 patients have been reported from several states across the country. Both black and white fungus are caused by mucormycetes — which is present in the environment — but as they impact lungs and other vital organs they can be extremely dangerous. However, on Monday, reports emerged that a patient in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad had been diagnosed with “yellow fungus”. ANI reported that the first such case of yellow fungus was diagnosed by Dr B.P Tyagi, an ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) specialist in the district. The patient, a 45-year-old resident of Ghaziabad’s Sanjay Nagar, is also suffering from black and white fungus infections. We take a detailed look at the three fungal infections and decode the similarities and differences between them:
Black Fungus – In Brief:
Over 10,000 cases of black fungus have been reported so far. It affects the nose, face, orbits of the eyes, and brain and lungs as well in some cases. AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has attributed misuse of steroids as the cause behind the rise in black fungus cases in the country. Covid-19 patients, diabetics, and patients undergoing steroid treatment for longer durations are at a higher risk of contracting it. Black fungus is known to cause chest pain, pain on one side of the face, toothache, discolouration over the nose, breathlessness and chest pain. Delay in treatment can be extremely dangerous.
White Fungus – In Brief:
Fewer cases of white fungus have been reported in comparison to black fungus. Some of its symptoms are similar to Covid’s – cough, breathlessness and chest pain; some patients also complain of headaches and swelling. People with low immunity and those living in unsanitary conditions are more prone to catching the white fungus. People suffering from diabetes, cancer or those on prolonged steroid use are more at risk, say experts. Delay in treatment can be extremely dangerous.
What is Yellow Fungus disease?
Like black fungus and white fungus, yellow fungus too is a fungal infection, but it can be rather fatal and deadly as it begins internally — unlike the others where symptoms are visible. ANI quoted Dr Tyagi as saying that this yellow fungus trait often leads to a delay in its diagnosis. This characteristic of yellow fungus makes it very difficult to manage and more dangerous as early diagnosis is a necessity in such cases.
Yellow Fungus Symptoms:
Symptoms of yellow fungus are loss of appetite, lethargy and weight loss. In latter stages of the infection patients suffering from yellow fungus exhibit severe symptoms sunken eyes due to malnutrition and organ failure, slow healing of wounds and oozing of pus from the wounds, and necrosis (cell injury that leads to death of cells and living tissues).
Yellow Fungus Treatment:
Like mucormycosis, the treatment for yellow fungus is Amphoteracin-B injection, Dr Tyagi said.
Yellow Fungus Precautions:
Here are some of the precautions that one can take to protect themselves from the yellow fungus:
i) Keep your room, home and surroundings as clean as possible;
ii) Remove stale food and fecal matter immediately to check bacteria and fungal growth;
iii) Keep the humidity of the room and home under check as excessive humidity promotes bacteria growth. Just like for Covid patients maintaining clean air flow inside the room and homes is necessary.
iv) Coronavirus positive patients must immediately start treatment so complications like yellow fungus do not develop.
As per the ANI report, the Ghaziabad patient who has been diagnosed with a case of yellow fungus had been undergoing Covid treatment for the past two months and recovering from it as well. However, in the last four days or so the patient developed swelling in his face due to which he was unable to open his eyes. Then the patient began bleeding from his nose and in urine. He was rushed to the hospital where examination revealed that it was a case of yellow fungus.