Identifying fungus via its colour leads to confusion: AIIMS director speaks about Mucormycosis

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All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria on Monday urged the people to stop categorizing the recent fungal infections being recorded throughout the country according to their colour and they should prefer using medical names of the diseases.

While addressing the daily Covid-19 press conference, Guleria stated it will be better if Mucormycosis is called by its name over its colour. He said, “ Labelling the same fungus with names of different colours can create confusion.” He added that the masses should be aware that, unlike Covid-19, Mucormycosis is not contagious and is non-communicable.

Guleria added, “90-95% of patients getting infected by Mucormycosis were found to have been either diabetic or were using steroids during their Covid-19 recovery. There are several types of fungal infections like candida, aspergillosis, cryptococcus, histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis. Mucormycosis, candida and aspergillosis are the ones observed more in those with low immunity.”

The AIIMS director further added that people who have developed warning signs of Mucormycosis should consult a doctor for treatment immediately. Guleria added, “Some warning signs for Mucormycosis such as headache, rusting or bleeding from nose, swelling below the eye, lowering of facial sensation, if observed in high-risk patients or those taking steroids should be informed to doctors so that early diagnosis and treatment can be given to the affected patients.”

The rising cases of Mucormycosis have been a concern for the Centre along with the state governments as some of them declared it as an epidemic. The disease exhibits a mortality rate of 50 per cent for the conditions where it is not treated. The infection is induced by a fungus called Mucormycetes which is present in the surrounding, however, most people with strong immunity can tackle it under normal conditions. Mucormycosis has a costly treatment which is troublesome for the families affected with it.

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