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White Vs Black Fungus: Is White Fungus More Dangerous Than Black Fungus?
By: Dr. Aditi Sharma
Jul 14, 2021
 

White Vs Black Fungus: Is White Fungus More Dangerous Than Black Fungus?

The year 2020 saw the unfortunate incidence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Protocols were set to deal with the situation effectively. This even led to a decline in coronavirus infection. But as seen with other virus pandemics, the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic too surged in 2021. To add to the woes, white fungus and black fungus infections have raised their heads in India off late. This has fired another round of chaos among the masses regarding what is a white fungus and black fungus infection and which is more dangerous.


What is White Fungus?

White fungus or candidiasis is non-infectious in most cases. It is caused by a group of organisms called candida. The white fungus can attack parts such as skin, mouth, genitals, nails, brain, lungs etc in the human body.


What causes White Fungus?

White fungus is caused in people with low immunity and who don’t observe hygiene measures properly. One can get infected by this fungus either by:-

  • inhaling their spores present in the environment
  • coming in contact with the infected surface.
 

What are the Symptoms of White Fungus?

 
 Symptoms of White Fungus
The symptoms are:-
  • White patches in the mouth
  • Whitish discharge
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Breathing difficulty, chest pain, cough and low oxygen levels.
 

What is Black Fungus?

Black fungus infection or mucormycosis is a rare and non-contagious infection. It is caused by Mucormycetes fungi moulds. It has been declared an epidemic by the Indian government recently.


What causes Black Fungus Infection & How does Black Fungus Spread?

The mucor mould spores are commonly present in the soil, manure, plants and decaying vegetables and fruits. The mucormycosis black fungus spreads when someone inhales these spores or when they enter the skin through burning, cut or other skin trauma. The infection if not timely controlled can damage the nose, eye sockets and finally the brain.


What are black fungus infection symptoms?

Black Fungus Infection Symptoms

The symptoms are:-

  • Watering of the eyes.
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Severe pain in the head
  • Darkening of the skin on the nose and cheeks
  • Nasal congestion
  • Blurred or even loss of vision
  • Toothache
  • Swelling of cheeks and eyes
  • Bleeding from the nose
 

Who is at risk of getting a fungal infection?

Under normal circumstances, fungal spores are always present around us but they are relatively harmless.
Recently black or white fungus infection is increasingly being reported in active covid patients or those who have recovered from covid-19 within the last six weeks. Black fungus in covid patients is seen either during their stay in the hospital or even after discharge.
This is largely attributed to:-

  • Uncontrolled diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar levels
  • Increase level of iron in the blood
  • Prolonged use of humidifiers and oxygen cylinders with contaminated water
  • Inappropriate and excessive use of steroids. This can further lead to the weakening of the immune system and an increase in blood sugar levels. Both these conditions favor the growth of fungus.
 

In addition, certain other factors can increase the risk of getting this infection such as:-

  • Poor hygiene practices
  • Wearing dirty or unwashed masks for a long time
  • Living in unclean areas
  • Trauma, malnourishment and burns in people
  • Patients with heart and kidney diseases
  • Immunocompromised patients such as HIV/AIDS patients, cancer patients


Why is the Fungus so Dangerous?

Both the white and black fungal disease is commonly seen in people with low immunity. The white fungus can spread to vital organs such as the brain, digestive tract and kidneys of covid-19 patient.

It can even spread to the respiratory system and cause chest pain, cough, breathlessness and low blood oxygen level. Similarly, the black fungus can cause great harm to the patient. The overall fatality rate, according to US Centers for Disease Control is around 50%.

The fungal spores can travel through the blood vessels from the sinuses to other parts of the body such as the eyes and brain. It can cause blindness, organ dysfunction and even death.

Infection by a coronavirus and black fungus or coronavirus and white fungus together in a patient can be even more dangerous.


White Fungus Vs Black Fungus: Why White Fungus is more dangerous than Black Fungus?

White Fungus Vs Black Fungus

White fungus is four times more dangerous than black fungus. One of the reasons is that black fungus produces early detectable symptoms such as facial deformity.

But white fungus can be traced only by performing an HRCT-like chest scan. Also, the white fungus can spread to several body parts.

It can adversely affect the lungs and cause breathlessness, cough and low oxygen levels. The white fungus can even affect young children.


How can the fungus infection be diagnosed?

Based on clinical symptoms following measures can be used for the diagnosis:-

  • Endoscopy of the nasal cavity
  • MRI and CT scan of sinuses, nasal cavity, chest and brain
  • Bronchopulmonary lavage aspirate microscopic evaluation


How to prevent Black Fungus & White Fungus infection?

How to Prevent black fungus and white fungus infection

Prevention for fungus includes the following measures:-

  • Always wear a mask when going out especially where there is garbage and food rotting
  • Maintain oral hygiene and use mouth wash
  • Wear full-sleeved clothes to have less skin exposure.
  • For diabetics controlling blood sugar level is a must.
  • Don’t self medicate with steroids. Always consult a physician first.
  • People on steroids should be monitored constantly by the doctor.
  • Water in humidifiers must be sterile
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep the home environment free from dampness and dust
  • Avoid contact with soil and if needed wear masks, boots and rubber gloves.


What is the treatment for white fungus and black fungus?

The modern system of medicine is facing many difficulties in handling the black and white fungal infection such as:-

  • There is a shortage of antifungal drugs to treat black fungus.
  • Anti-fungal drug treatment is quite costly.
  • As the fungus affects various parts of the body the treatment may require a team of specialists.
  • Drugs known to treat fungus infection have severe side effects such as neurological problem, stroke and kidney problems.
  • Surgical removal of infected and dead tissue may result in loss of eyes and upper jaw.

On the other hand treatment of white fungus and treatment of black fungus by means of homeopathic medicines has many advantages.
Homeopathic treatment is safe, gentle and without any side effects. It can help in various stages and the manifestation of the disease and prevent complications. Homeopathic treatment is cost-effective. Also in this one needs to refer to a trained homeopathic physician only rather than a team of specialist for his treatment. 

The Department of AYUSH has laid down certain guidelines for the treatment and prevention of these fungus infections.

For prevention of mucormycosis Arsenicum Album 200 ( twice daily, each time 6 pills for 5 days) and Five Phos 6x tablets ( twice daily, 3 tablets each time for 30 days) is recommended.

For the treatment of mucormycosis following guidelines have been given:-

  • For Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis - Arsenic –alb, Kali Bich, Merc.Sol, Merc. Iod. Rubrum, Merc. Iod. Flavum, cinnabaris, Thuja, Carbo Animalis 200 potency twice daily, 6pills each time for 5 days.
  • For Pulmonary Mucormycosis - Arsenic- Alb, Phosphorous, Bryonia, Carbo Animalis, Ant. Tart 200 potency twice daily, 6 pills each time for 5 days.
  • For Cutaneous Mucormycosis- Arsenic- Alb, Sulphur, Merc. Sol, Anthracinum 200 potency twice daily 6pills each time for 5 days
  • For Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis - Arsenic – Alb, Phosphorous, Nitric Acid 200 potency, twice daily 6 pills each time for 5 days. 

Homoeopathy is based on the concept of symptom similarity and individualization for the prescription of remedies. Therefore one must refer to a qualified homeopathic physician for the administration of the most suitable remedy and avoid self-drugging at home.

 

CONCLUSION

This second wave of covid -19 which is largely caused by more infectious variants of the coronavirus has been more devastating than the first. Covid and black fungus or covid and white fungus are seen together in a patient is a bigger cause of concern.
Covid is seen to create favourable conditions for the fungus to thrive. These include damage to blood vessels and airway mucosa by the coronavirus and an increase in serum iron.

Use of medicines like steroids that lower immunity, broad-spectrum antibiotics that also kill protective bacteria and prolonged use of humidifiers and oxygen cylinders with contaminated water can lead to infections. Although rare and non-contagious these infections can be very lethal. The mortality rate ranges between 25%- 90%.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential. Measures such as endoscopy, MRI, CT of chest, sinuses, nasal cavity or brain and bronchopulmonary lavage evaluation can be used for diagnosis.

For the treatment, the modern system of medicine seems to be in a state of chaos and helplessness. Homoeopathy can play a pivotal role during this crisis situation. It is not only effective in treating covid complicated by black or white fungus disease but is also safe and cost-effective.

Department of AYUSH has laid guideline to help prevent and treat these diseases from time to time. But one must always refer to a trained homeopathic physician to best avail to the benefits from these guidelines and avoid self- drugging.

 

About The Author

Dr. Aditi Sharma

Dr. Aditi Sharma

Passionate to become a doctor I, Dr. Aditi Sharma, happened to take up Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery course (BHMS) at the undergraduate level. I pursued this four and half year degree course from Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, one of the premier institutes for homoeopathy in India. This was followed by one year of formal internship in both outdoor and indoor patient departments and various dispensaries as part of the same program. Aspiring to change the world with the healing touch of Homoeopathy I took up my first job in a charitable clinic in 2011. Later in 2012 till 2016 I worked as a Homoeopathic consultant at the reputed Dr Batra’s Positive Health clinic. This job gave me a great opportunity to have an exposure to myriad of chronic diseases and the latest technological tools available to help in the treatment of patients. Thus honing my skills and knowledge I started with my own clinical practice which I’m currently running with my husband, a Homoeopath himself, in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad. Realizing the role of mind in either origin or maintenance of most of the chronic diseases prevalent in modern society, I pursued a degree course in MA psychology from IGNOU university. This further enabled me to understand the suffering of patients better and provide them with vital emotional support along with medicinal management in a given case. Along with reading I also enjoy travelling, listening to music, watching movies and art and craft activities as hobbies. I took up to writing these blogs as they give me an opportunity to spread basic awareness about various common diseases to wider range of readers. At the same time through these articles I get the golden chance to introduce the readers with the vital role Homoeopathy, one of the scientific system of medicines, can play to lead their lives towards complete health and happiness.

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