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Black Fungus spreads rapidly in India: Here’s how to protect children

Web Report/Mumbai
Filed on July 1, 2021 | Last updated on July 1, 2021 at 08.02 am

The Covid virus is mutating and weakening the immune system causing infections and risk of black, white and yellow fungus, say doctors.


Black fungus infection, or mucormycosis, a rare kind of fungal infection, is unfortunately infecting a growing number of children below 18 in India, leading to several complications.

The Covid virus is mutating and weakening the immune system causing infections and risk of black, white and yellow fungus, say doctors.

Dr Jesal Sheth, senior consultant-paediatrician at Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, told a newspaper that mucormycosis has been seen in severe Covid patients. “The disease is often characterised by hyphae growing in and around blood vessels and can be potentially life-threatening in diabetic or severely immunocompromised individuals,” he said.

Worryingly, children who are less likely to have diabetes or an immunocompromised immunity, have also been infected by mucormycosis. One of the first case was in Gujarat, where a 13-year-old was found infected with the black fungus after recovering from Covid-19.

Sheth says children should be encouraged to frequently wash their hands before touching their eyes, nose and mouth. “Encourage children to stay indoors and avoid having visitors at home,” said Sheth. “It is important you do not send kids out to play. Rather engage them in indoor games. Use this time for reading books, helping with household chores, gardening and spending time with family members.” And children should wear a mask in the company of others, he adds.

Signs of black fungus infection include headaches and swelling in the forehead, swelling on one side of the face, black crusts around the nose, blurred vision or vision loss and respiratory complications such as chest pain, cough and shortness of breath.

According to Sheth, if a child is diagnosed with mucormycosis, the treatment includes antifungal medicines or even surgery depending on the clinical condition.

The Directorate General of Health Services has also issued guidelines for the management of Covid-19 and mucormycosis for children under 18. One of the key suggestions is for parents not to wait for culture results to initiate therapy as it is an emergency.





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