Assam on Tuesday reported its first case of black fungus infection Mucormycosis, in a Covid-19 patient.

A 27-year-old man, who has been admitted to a private hospital in Guwahati, has reportedly tested positive for the rare fungal infection.

Sources said the man was admitted to the city’s Apollo Hospital two days back.

It is not immediately known from where he has contracted the infection.

Sources said the patient is stable.

Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, is caused by a group of mould called mucormycetes.

These fungi live in the environment, particularly in soil and in decaying organic matter, such as leaves, compost piles, or rotten wood, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

When someone breathes these fungal spores, they are likely to get the infection that commonly affects the sinuses or lungs.

Medical experts say mucormycosis is an “opportunistic infection” – it latches on to people who are battling illnesses or are on medications that lower the body’s ability to fight infections.

According to Union health ministry Mucormycosis is not entirely new.  For prevention of black fungus attack, the government has recommended not to give steroids at the onset of Covid-19 but after the sixth day when there will be oxygen requirement.

“When a patient is put on oxygen support, which has a humidifier containing water, the chances of him or her getting the fungal infection increases. It should be ensured that water does not leak from the humidifier,” the government has recommended.

Mucorales are ubiquitous throughout the environment and commonly found in decaying organic matter, soil, compost, and animal excreta, particularly in a wet environment.

Predisposing factors for Mucormycosis include HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled, cancer, kidney failure, organ transplant, long -term corticosteroid and immunosuppressive therapy, among others.

The black fungus frequently infects sinuses, brain or lungs.

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