With India grappling with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been reported that there is an increase in the number of Black Fungus or mucormycosis cases among the COVID-19 patients in the country. Along with this other fungal infections like yellow fungus and white fungus have also been reported in the country.
Recently, Aspergillosis, a new fungal infection was reported in the city of Vadodara in the state Gujarat.
Aspergillus, a common mold (a type of fungus) that can be founs living indoors or outdoors is the cause of the infection Aspergillosis. Generally, most people breathe in the Aspergillus spores daily without falling sick. However, the people who are suffering from a weakened immune system or lung diseases are at an increased risk of falling sick from Aspergillus. Lung reactions, infections in other organs and allergic infections are the types of health problems that are caused by the infection Aspergillus.
Aspergillosis can be categorized into 4 types. They are:
- Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA): People who are suffering from asthma or other lung related problems like cystic fibrosis are more likely to get infected by ABPA. ABPA causes coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
- Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: This fungal infection can severely damage the lungs of the affected patient. People suffering from lung diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or tuberculosis and sarcoidosis are at risk of catching this type of the fungal infection. Symptoms of this infection includes Weight loss, Cough, coughing up blood, Fatigue and Shortness of breath
- Invasive Aspergillosis: This infection is very dangerous as it can invade into the lung tissues of the affected patient and can spread to the brain or kidneys. If invasive aspergillosis is not treated then it can cause infectious pneumonia. People who are suffering from weakened immune systems such as AIDS and Cancer patients are more likely to get affected by this infection. The symptoms are Fever, Chest pain, Cough, Coughing up blood and Shortness of breath
- Aspergilloma: People suffering from tuberculosis or other type of lung disease are more at risk to get infected with this infection. In Aspergilloma, exposure to this fungus can cause the patient to develop a type of fungus growth known as fungus ball. This fungal ball consists of fungus, white blood cells, and clots and can grow and damage the lung tissues of the affected patient. This fungal ball, however, does not infect the other body organs of the patient. Cough, coughing up blood and Shortness of breath is the symptom of this infection.