Green Fungus: What is Green Fungus? What are early symptoms, prevention & treatment methods

Green fungus, also known as Aspergillosis, is an infection caused by Aspergillus, a common mold that lives indoors and outdoors. People can get aspergillosis by breathing in microscopic Aspergillus spores from the environment. 

Created On: Jun 17, 2021 16:13 ISTModified On: Jun 17, 2021 16:13 IST

A Green Fungus infection case has been detected in a 34-year-old COVID-19 survivor in Madhya Pradesh. The patient was shifted to Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital by air ambulance for treatment.

The COVID Patient was being treated in Indore's Aurobindo Hospital for the last one-and-a-half-months. He had recovered from COVID but then started having high fever and nose bleeds.

During diagnosis, the green fungus was detected in his sinuses, lungs and blood. His lungs have been found to be 90 percent infected. 

The fungal infection is different from Mucormycosis or Black Fungus. This is possibly the first reported case of green fungus in the country, though the medical community is unsure about other parts of India.

What is Green Fungus?

Green fungus, also known as Aspergillosis, is an infection caused by Aspergillus, a common mold that lives indoors and outdoors. People can get aspergillosis by breathing in microscopic Aspergillus spores from the environment. 

The first case of green fungus was detected when the COVID-19 patient underwent a test upon suspicion that he had contracted mucormycosis or black fungus.

Who are most at risk of catching green fungus?

• People with low or weak immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to Aspergillus.

• Most of us breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick but those with weakened immune systems or lung diseases including tuberculosis are at a higher risk.

• Those who have had a stem cell transplant or organ transplant or are getting chemotherapy for cancer are also at high risk. 

What happens when one is infected with Green Fungus?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Aspergillus causes lung infections, allergic reactions and infections in other organs. 

Is Green Fungus contagious?

No, aspergillosis or green fungus is not contagious and can not spread between people or between people and animals from the lungs.

Green Fungus Symptoms

Different types of aspergillosis can cause different symptoms, as per US CDC. A few of them include:

• Fever

• Wheezing

• Shortness of breath

• Cough and fever 

• Stuffiness

• Runny nose

• Headache

• Reduced ability to smell

• Coughing up blood

• Weight loss

• Fatigue

How can we prevent green fungus infection?

• As per Doctors, rare fungal infections can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene and oral and physical cleanliness.

• Those at high risk should avoid areas with a lot of dust and stored contaminated water and avoid activities involving close contact to soil and dust. 

• People should keep washing their face and hands with soap water if they have been exposed to soil or dust. 

• As per doctors, more research is needed on whether the nature of "green fungus" infection in people who have recovered from Covid-19 is different from other patients.

Experts divided on fungus colour coding

• According to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria, fungal infections should not be categorised based on their colour and that they should be called using their medical names. 

• This comes as India has reported cases of Black fungus, white fungus and yellow fungus from different regions. 

• As per few other experts, there is no colour coding of fungal infection and the only thing is that it is aspergillus fungus and mucormycosis.

• The naming of the fungus in such a manner is done because the colour is seen in lab culture during testing. The fungus exhibits colour in their culture. 

• However, as per medical experts all of them — black, yellow, green and white fungus — are basically specimens of cinderella, mucormycosis and aspergillus.

• While mucormycosis exhibits black colour, cinderella gives white and aspergillus exhibits green and yellow colour.

 

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