Q Why is it in News ?
A As the central government asks states to notify black fungus or mucormycosis an epidemic, an infection called white fungus or Candidiasis has also been found to affect some people.
- Covid-19 patients are more prone to white fungus as it affects the lungs and similar symptoms are created like that of coronavirus.
- Black fungus is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes, which is abundant in the environment.
Q What is White Fungus ?
- White Fungus or Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida.
- Candida normally lives on the skin and inside the body, in places such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing any problems.
- Candida can cause infections if it grows out of control or if it enters deep into the body (for example, the bloodstream or internal organs like the kidney, heart, or brain).
- The most common species that causes infection is Candida albicans.
Q How is infection caused ?
- This infection can be caused due to low immunity, or if people come in contact with things that contain these moulds like water, etc.
- Children and women are more at risk of contracting the fungal infection.
- Like the black fungus, white fungus is also more likely to afflict people with compromised immune systems, pre-existing medical conditions, AIDS, a recent kidney transplant or diabetes.
Q What are its symptoms ?
- People experience symptoms similar to Covid if it reaches the lungs such as chest infection, despite testing negative for the virus.
- White fungus affects the lungs as well as other parts of the body including the nails, skin, stomach, kidney, brain, private parts and mouth.
Q How can it be diagnosed and what are its treatments ?
- CT scans or X-Rays can reveal the condition.
- Patients with the white fungus are currently being treated with known anti-fungal medication.
Q How can it be prevented ?
- Special caution is required of moulds in water that can lead to infection.
- Proper sanitation is very important.