First case of green fungus detected in India

Within the coronavirus pandemic, India is now facing another disastrous epidemic—the rise of fungal infections. The latest to join the family is green fungus.

After black, white and yellow fungus, now green fungus—medically known as aspergillosis—has been identified in a 34-year-old man from the state of Madhya Pradesh. The man said that he had fully recovered from COVID when suddenly he got a high fever and started to get nose bleeds.

The diagnosis

Upon his relapse, he went back to the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences (SAIMS) in Indore, where he had previously spent two months battling COVID. The doctors initially suspected black fungus, but when he wasn’t responding to the treatments they did more tests and realised that he was actually infected with aspergillosis. He was then airlifted to Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai to get better treatment. Dr. Ravi Dosi, the head of the Department of Chest Diseases at SAIMS told The National:

We were giving him medication on line of black fungus because of the symptoms… but he showed very poor response to it. We did a biopsy and special blood tests, by the time reports started trickling in, it became evident that he was suffering from aspergillosis.

According to Times of India, 90% of the patient’s lungs have already been infected.

What is aspergillosis?

Similar to the other kinds of fungal infections, green fungus is also caused by inhaling a common type of mold, called Aspergillus, that is found indoors and outdoors. There are over 180 species of Aspergillus but only 40 are said to be infectious. Normally these spores are harmless when you have a strong immune system, but when immunocompromised people breathe in the mold, it can cause an infection in the lungs and sinuses. If left untreated it can even cause pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states:

People with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to Aspergillus. The types of health problems caused by Aspergillus include allergic reactions, lung infections, and infections in other organs.

This is the very first known case of green fungus in the country, while there are over 28,000 cases of black fungus, four of white fungus, and at least one case of yellow fungus till date.

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