Amidst the second wave of COVID-19 in India, an alarming rise in several fungal infections cases of post-COVID patients are an additional cause for concern.
As the world continues its battle against the second wave of the coronavirus crisis, there has been a rise in cases of black fungus, white fungus, and yellow fungus. Green fungus has also been detected in India for the first time.
While the black fungus has already been declared a deadly disease by most states, confusion regarding green fungus has started gripping the state. The first explanation for green fungus was detected when a Covid patient underwent a test upon suspicion that he had contracted mucormycosis or black fungus.
What is Green Fungus?
Green fungus, also observed as Aspergillosis, is an infection caused by Aspergillus, which can be a typical mold. People can get infected by aspergillosis by inhaling microscopic Aspergillus spores from the environment.
What are the types?
– Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
This occurs because of an allergic response to fungal spores which will be breathed in. The symptoms of green fungus are very similar to asthma.
– Chronic Cavitary Pulmonary Aspergillosis
A variant of Pulmonary Aspergillosis, it’s found when the fungus is present within the lungs for a protracted time. It leads to the formation of cavities within the lungs. it’s going to also cause expansion of pre-existing cavities due to other lung diseases like Tuberculosis.
Allergic Aspergillus Sinusitis
Occurs when it affects the sinuses and causes inflammatory and allergic reactions.
Aspergilloma or fungal ball
Known to be the foremost severe style of Aspergillosis, it occurs when Aspergillus fungus causes a significant infection in people with severely weakened immune systems.
Sometimes, It can affect the skin if the fungus gets access after an surgery or injury. It can even occur if the infection spreads to the skin from elsewhere within the body.
It can affect many other organs causing Brain abscesses, Ear infections, Gastrointestinal Aspergillosis, etc.
What are the symptoms?
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
Cough Shortness of breath Wheezing
Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis
Cough Shortness of breath Weakness Weight loss Haemoptysis
Allergic Aspergillus Sinusitis
Runny nose Stuffy nose Headache Lack of smell
Aspergilloma or Fungal Ball
Cough Shortness of breath Haemoptysis
High temperature Fever, Haemoptysis, Shortness of breath, Nose bleeding, or Weight loss
How can Green Fungus infection be prevented?
By maintaining good hygiene, oral and physical cleanliness. Avoiding areas with plenty of dust and stored contaminated water. If impossible to avoid, usage of an N95 respirator is usually recommended. It is advisable to avoid activities that involve close contact with dust or soil. Wash face and hands well with soap and water, especially if they need to be exposed to soil or dust. Use of pants, full sleeves, shoes, and gloves recommended while gardening. Healthy and nutritious diet to form an immunity.
How to diagnose Green Virus?
A sample is collected from the tract of the patient either by obtaining sputum or by performing a Bronchoalveolar Lavage. The sample is then examined under the microscope during a lab to identify the presence of the fungus. A lung biopsy can even be performed, where a tissue sample is surgically obtained from the lungs and studied.
Antigen and Antibody detection
Blood samples of patients are tested for antibodies specific and antigens specific to the fungus.
It helps to localize the disease and also to detect characteristic findings like fungal balls or cavities within the lungs. Commonly used imaging modalities are CT scan and Chest Radiograph.
If the disease is of allergic origin, the precise IgE levels within the blood are elevated which is detected.
Green Fungus isn’t contagious and may not spread from person to person or animals from the lungs.