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Types of fungal infections: What are the Black Fungus, White Fungus, Yellow Fungus, and Green Fungus infections?

Arfa Javaid

As India is still reeling under the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, Black Fungus, White Fungus, Yellow Fungus, and Green Fungus have brought along unending woes, pressuring the already stressed healthcare system. 

These fungal infections have been attributed to COVID-19 and led to prolonged morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients. This article sheds light on all four fungal infections, their causes, symptoms, and more.

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Green Fungus

Green Fungus or Aspergillosis is the latest addition to COVID-triggered fungal infection that has been reported in Indore. 

How was Green Fungus infection detected?

Green Fungus has been detected in a 34-year-old COVID-19 survivor in Madhya Pradesh's Indore and was shifted to Mumbai by air ambulance for treatment. The patient was asked to undergo some tests as doctors suspected the contraction of black fungus or mucormycosis. However, after tests, the first case of green fungus was confirmed in India. 

What causes of GreenFungus infection?

Green Fungus is an infection caused by Aspergillus, a common mould that lives indoors and outdoors. 

What are the symptoms of Green Fungus infection?

The symptoms of Green Fungus infection are as follows:

1- High fever
2- Chest pain
3- Cough
4- Nose bleeding
5- Shortness of breath
6- Weightloss
7- Weakness or Fatigue 

Who are at risk of getting infected with Green Fungus?

1- People with a history of allergy.

2- People with frail immunity

3- People suffering from Lung Disease

Yellow Fungus

Yellow Fungus, another COVID-triggered fungal infection has been reported in Ghaziabad. 

How was Yellow Fungus infection detected?

A patient, who reportedly has Yellow Fungus, was rushed by his son to the hospital after he started bleeding from his nose and eyes. The patient recently recovered from the Covid-19 infection. He was administered the anti-fungal medicine and has since shown improvement in his condition.

What are the causes of Yellow Fungus infection?

The causes of Yellow Fungus infection are: 

1- Poor hygiene
2- Moisture and heat
3- Contaminated food
4- Overuse of steroids

What are the symptoms of Yellow Fungus infection?

The symptoms of Yellow Fungus infection are as follows:

1- Weight loss
2- Pus leakage
3- Malnutrition
4- Organs failure
5- Internal bleeding
6- Lethargy
7- Slow healing of wounds
8- Low apetite or no apetite
9- Necrosis (in severe cases)

Who are at risk of getting infected with Yellow Fungus?

1- Patients who are on immuno-suppressants.

2- Patients with comorbidities.

What is Yellow Fungus?

White Fungus

White Fungus or Aspergillosis was detected in four patients at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in Bihar.

How was White Fungus infection detected?

Dr. S.N. Singh, Head of Microbiology at PMCH, confirmed the cases of White Fungus during a detailed investigation. This comes after all four patients showed COVID-like symptoms but tested negative for the deadly virus. The patients were administered the anti-fungal medicines and have since shown improvement in their condition.  

What are the causes of White Fungus infection?

The causes of White Fungus infection are:

1- Low immunity
2- Contact with infectious moulds
3- Poor hygiene

What are the symptoms of White Fungus infection?

The symptoms of White Fungus infection are:

1- Cough
2- Fever
3- Diarrhea
4- Dark spots on lungs
5- Reduced oxygen level

Note: The symptoms of the White Fungus are similar to that of the COVID-19 infection. 

Who are at risk of getting infected with White Fungus?

1- People with comorbidities such as diabetes.

2- People who are on steroids for long.

3- COVID-19 patients who are on oxygen support.

What is White Fungus or Aspergillosis?

Black Fungus

Increased cases of Black Fungus or Mucormycosis have been observed in COVID-19 patients in the national capital. 

What are the causes of Black Fungus infection?

The causes of Black Fungus infection are:

1- Poor hygiene
2- Improper use of steroids
3- Contact with infectious moulds

What are the symptoms of Black Fungus infection?

The symptoms of Black Fungus infection are:

For Brain Mucormycosis

1- One-sided facial swelling
2- Headache
3- Nasal or sinus congestion
4- Black lesions on nasal bridge or upper inside of the mouth
5- Fever

For Pulmonary Mucormycosis

1- Fever
2- Cough
3- Chest pain
4- Shortness of breath

For Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis

1- Abdominal pain
2- Nausea and vomiting
3- Gastrointestinal bleeding

Who are at risk of getting infected with Black Fungus?

1- Diabetes
2- Cancer
3- Organ transplant
4- Stem cell transplant
5- Neutropenia 
6- Long-term corticosteroid use
7- Hemochromatosis (excess of iron)
8- Skin injury due to surgery, burns, or wounds
9- Pre-maturity 
10- Low birth weight 

What is Black Fungus or Mucormycosis?

Black Fungus vs White Fungus vs Yellow Fungus: Which one more is dangerous? 

Dr. B.P. Tyagi, an ENT specialist from Ghaziabad was quoted by ABP as saying, "While the White Fungus targets the lungs and Black Fungus targets the brain, Yellow Fungus affects both the organs." 

Dr. Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of LNJP Hospital was quoted by India TV as saying, "White fungus (Aspergillosis) is not as dangerous as Black Fungus. The treatment for the latter can continue for 1-1.5 months, hence, early diagnosis is critical. Don't take steroids to treat COVID-19 without consulting your doctor."

Dr. Ajay Swaroop, Chairman, Dept. of ENT at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital stated, "We are seeing a rise again in this dangerous fungal infection triggered by COVID-19. In the last two days, we have admitted six cases of mucormycosis. Last year, this deadly infection caused high mortality with many patients suffering from the loss of eyesight and the removal of the nose and the jaw bone."

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