Ever since the world was enveloped under the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, the health sector had been hit drastically. With each wave, something deadly is coming forth that is raging the fear among the masses as well as the health sectors. With the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic, one deadly matter of concern came forth in the form of an infection. Mucormycosis, more popularly known as Black Fungus, has become a fatal spread among Covid patients. Although the infection generally resides in the environment, the outrage of the pandemic has accelerated its growth, ultimately affecting Covid-19 patients. Black Fungus is a rare infection that affects humans via the skin or trails way to the brain and lungs. Lately, India has witnessed a rising number of Black Fungus-affected patients, owing to which the mortality rate has increased.
Table of Contents
- What is Black Fungus?
- Post-Covid Complications and Oral Health
- Dental Care Tips To Prevent Black Fungus
- When to See a Doctor?
1. What is Black Fungus?
Caused by a fungus named Mucor, Black Fungus is a rare but deadly disease. The fungus is found on wet surfaces but, when it affects humans, it can prove to be fatal leading to death also. It can breed on human skin and at times trail its path to the brain and lungs through burns, scrapes, or any type of skin opening. This fungus lives on decaying organic matter like rotten leaves, wood, compost piles, etc., and also in soil. Studies show that besides brooding on wet surfaces, Black Fungus is present in the mucous and nose of a healthy person. There were previous instances of Black Fungus affecting humans, but the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has raised the number of patients. This fungus is very deadly when it comes in contact with humans. People with vital health issues like diabetes are affected by the fungus. Also, people with a weak immune system or the ones who consume drugs that weaken their ability to fight infection can have Black Fungus. The fungus is believed to affect the sinuses and is life-threatening for people with serious medical conditions like cancers, HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, and prolonged corticosteroids.
Doctors are using steroids for treating critically ill Covid patients, which accounts to the rise in sugar levels in some cases. As per experts, the use of steroids and other medication is declining the proper functioning of the immune system. That is elevating the number of cases of Black Fungus post-Covid. Steroids are known for reducing inflammation in the lungs to treat serious Covid-patients. They help to recover the body from the damages that the override immune system could be causing. However, steroids can also deteriorate the immunity of the patients and push up the sugar level in them. That ultimately becomes a threat to both diabetic and non-diabetic Covid patients because the black fungus is more likely to affect people with high sugar levels and lower immunity. The above factors have triggered the occurrence of mucormycosis in Covid-patients.
Black Fungus causes fatal damages to the patient’s brain, lungs, and sinuses, sometimes leaving them blind or either dead. The fungus settles in the lining of the nose as black or dis-coloured remains. Mucormycosis causes chest pain, hazy vision, blood coughing, difficulty in breathing, etc. Some of the most common black fungus symptoms include redness and pain around the eyes, nose, fever, headache, and blurred sight. Mucormycosis symptoms can also include congestion of the nose and sinuses. The fungus is spreading its claws over the Covid-19 patients and the ones who have recovered from the disease. Although black fungus cases came up in the first wave of the pandemic, the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic gave more power to them. In the second wave, Black Fungus has caused a hike in the mortality rate.
2. The post-Covid complication and oral health
Even after recovering from Covid-19, the post-covid complications continue to be an issue for many. Besides affecting the Covid-patient, mucormycosis is evident in patients who have recovered from Covid. Oral hygiene is being neglected, which is raising the signs of complications in patients. This complication becomes deadly if not treated in time. Out of all the post-covid complications, the worst is impacting oral hygiene. Dentists have said that recovered covid patients come up with problems such as bleeding gums, loss of taste, dry mouth, oral cavities, mouth ulcers, etc. The overuse of masks compels a person to breathe with the mouth, thus resulting in dry mouths. The bleeding gums are influenced by immune dysfunction owing to the cytokine storm in the mouth.
Many patients are also facing oral ulceration owing to severe inflammation in the mouth. People with poor oral hygiene are likely to get infected with post-covid oral ulcers. These oral ulcers are likely to be driven by the steroids intake for recovering from the Covid-19. The side effects of some medications can aggravate the Oral disease in patients post-covid recovery.
Read Also: Dental Care Guide During COVID-19 Outbreak
3. Dental care tips to prevent black fungus
Post-Covid recovery, a person needs to take care of his/her oral hygiene to prevent the side effects of steroids and other medication affecting oral health. Follow the tips mentioned below to keep the post-covid complication or black fungus at bay:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, morning and at night. It is the first and foremost regime of a healthy oral space.
- Include flossing to your night routine for a better oral hygiene
- Begin your morning with an antiseptic mouthwash. It not only imparts fresh breath but also keeps fungus and infections at bay.
- Change your toothbrushes and tongue cleaner regularly.
- If you suffer from Covid, store your toothbrush and tongue cleaner in a separate holder. That will preclude the rising risk of the virus from spreading.
- Clean your toothbrush and tongue cleaner with antibacterial mouthwashes.
4. When to see a doctor?
After recovering from Covid, patients are advised to take utmost care of their oral hygiene and physical health. People with vital health issues like diabetes, HIV, etc., are encouraged to take all the precautions and follow the preventive measures to stay away from the aftermath of Covid recovery.
Black Fungus treatment should be quick as the patient’s body becomes weak post-covid. If post-recovery patients are having any symptoms of black fungus, they should waste no time and visit a doctor for kick-starting mucormycosis treatment as soon as possible. The black fungus can be deadly, hence patients are advised to start the treatment in no time.
Read Also: Dental Visit During Covid-19: Things to Remember
With the rising number of mucormycosis, post-recovery patients must take complete care of their oral hygiene. The deadly fungi are likely to cause vital complications post-covid. If you are facing any oral issues, SmileXpertz Dental Clinic is a one-stop solution. They have highly skilled and renowned doctors and dentists who provide the best aid for all your oral problems. With well-equipped facilities and years of expertise, they offer the best service to keep pulmonary mucormycosis at bay with the best oral care. Call now to know more!