After black, white and yellow fungus, the threat of a new type of fungal infection called aspergillosis has generated fear among recovered COVID-19 patients. Many cases of nasal aspergillosis, which infects the sinuses are being reported from two of the government hospitals in Vadodara, Gujarat in May 2022.
Aspergillosis is an infection caused by Aspergillus, a common mold (a type of fungus) that lives indoors and outdoors. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick.
The types of health problems due to Apergillus include allergic reactions, lung infections and infections in other organs, as per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Aspergillosis is not contagious and can’t spread between people or between people and animals from the lungs.
Similar to black fungus, aspergillosis is also being observed seen in COVID-19 cases or those who have recently recovered from the disease. The increasing cases of fungal infections may be linked to the usage of steroids for treating severe coronavirus infection and may be the use of non-sterile water for hydrating the oxygen supply.
Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a type of mould or fungus called Aspergillus. This fungus is normally found in the environment but does not cause any kind of infection in a healthy individual. But, when a person with compromised immunity or lung infection breathes the spores they may develop allergic reactions and lung infections due to it.
In severe cases, it may even spread to blood vessels and beyond. The symptoms of disease depend on the type of aspergillosis a person is infected with. Different types of aspergillosis can affect the body in different ways. Here are some common types and symptoms of this fungal infection.
Fever and chills are the initial symptoms of coronavirus, which lasts for 4-5 days in mild cases. When treating COVID-19, doctors first try to control fever. If your fever returns post-infection then it could be due to the fungal infection.
Fever is a common symptom of invasive aspergillosis.
Invasive aspergillosis normally occurs in people who are already sick from other medical conditions, so it can be difficult to know which symptoms are related to an Apergillus infection. But, the symptoms of invasive aspergillosis in the lungs fever, chest pain, cough, coughing up blood and shortness of breath. CDC says other symptoms can develop if the infection spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body.
As the fungus spreads to the lungs, it may start damaging the tissues, making it difficult to breathe properly. Feeling of breathlessness or out of breath can indicate that the fungus has spread to the lungs.
If the infection precedes the lungs, an infected person may have persistent coughing. In some cases, patients also cough up small amounts of blood.
The mould enters the body through the nose. It primarily affects the sinus, lungs and then moves towards the brain. This may cause headache and eye irritation or pain.
A low-functioning immune system may itself make a patient feel tired. Along with that if a patient is infected with the fungus then a patienet may feel chronic fatigue syndrome. Even performing a simple everyday task would be difficult for you.
Fungal infection can also spread on the skin leading to irritation, redness, swelling, blister and itching.
Diagnosis of an aspergilloma or invasive aspergillosis can be difficult as the symptoms mimic other kinds of lung infection. This fungus is commonly found in all environments but difficult to distinguish from certain other moulds under the microscope.
Doctors may generally prescribe a biopsy to sample and test lung tissue. Other tests may involve blood tests to test the fungus molecules, a chest X-ray, a CT scan of the lungs and a sputum stain and culture to examine the bronchial mucus.
If detected at the early stage, the infection can be easily treated with the help of medications. As per an expert, the treatment for aspergillosis is the same as black and white fungus. But if the infection spreads to the other parts of the body, surgery is the only option available.
Reports said aspergillosis is generally treated with Voriconazole and that doctors are also treating patients with an antifungal medicine – Isavuconazole. Please dont resort to home medication without doctors guidance.