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White Fungus Explained – How It Affects COVID-19 Patients

White Fungus Infection Causes

The second wave of COVID-19 in India has been brutal, affecting many with a large number of individuals requiring oxygen support, ICU stays, long-term hospitalization and treatment for various fungal infections.

Firstly Mucormycosis or Black fungus was seen in COVID-recovered patients. Then, several cases of other fungus named White fungus were diagnosed among the COVID-19 recovered population in India.

What is White Fungus?

White fungus is a fungal infection caused by the fungus called Candida. It is an invasive fungus that affects many parts of the body like the heart, lungs, nails, brain, kidneys, and mouth. It enters the blood and circulates throughout the body, and is way more severe than black fungus.

However, White fungus infection is not a contagious disease.

What Causes White Fungus?

The causative organism of white fungus infection is a Candida fungus that is present in the environment. The fungal mold spores of Candida are present in improperly sanitized medical equipment like Oxygen cylinders, from where they enter the body of the weakened person and cause white fungal infection.

Moreover, other factors that lead to the generation of White fungus infection are lack of personal hygiene, prolonged ICU stay, weakened immunity, and uncontrolled diabetes.

Symptoms of White fungus?

White fungus shows symptoms like COVID-19, along with white patches on the oral cavity. The traces of infection are even found in individuals with COVID-19 symptoms but with COVID-19 negative reports. 

Symptoms like

  • Cough
  • Chest Pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Persistent Headache
  • White creamy patches on the mucosa of the oral cavity are some of the common symptoms of White fungus infection.

But the symptoms mentioned above do not by themself imply White fungus infection; it can only be confirmed and detected after a CT scan or X-Ray and a fungus culture test of the patient’s phlegm.

White Fungus Infection Symptoms Treatment

Risk factors of White fungus infection

There are predisposing risk factors of White fungus infection that require extra care and prevention.

The group that is at a high risk of White fungus disease are-

  • Immunocompromised Patients
  • Post-COVID patients
  • Weakened Immunity
  • Uncontrolled Diabetic patients
  • Patients post an organ transplant
  • Suffering from Kidney failure and on regular dialysis
  • Cancer patients receiving Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy
  • Long term stay in Hospital
  • Recently underwent a surgery

What are the preventive measures for White fungus infection?

Here are some tips to prevent White Fungus infections:

  • Assure good immune system
  • Strict monitoring of glucose levels in Diabetic patients
  • Stop the overuse of steroids. Always take medicines under medical guidance.
  • Maintain proper hygiene
  • Early detection of COVID-19

Bottom Line

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of various infections like White fungus, it is important to take preventative measures and get tested as early as possible if any symptoms appear.

To get tested for COVID-19, you can visit your nearest SRL diagnostics center. They offer a hygienic and safe collection method through trained staff.

Also, it is vital to follow preventative measures, maintain social distancing, wear a mask, and avoid crowded areas.

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