In May, a middle-aged man who was suffering from the Covid-19 was infected with fungal infections. His condition has been facing a deterioration. The patient was put on a ventilator. He was receiving steroids, which is a life-saving treatment for COVID-19 patients. However, experts are saying that the drug reduces immunity and enhances the blood sugar level in the patient.
After a much-prolonged stay in the Intensive Care Unit, the patient was recovering and preparing to go home. Unfortunately, doctors found that he had an infection with a drug-resistant fungus.
Candida Auris has discovered that it is one of the most feared hospital microbes. Bloodstream infection is quite popular in the ICU. It has a mortality rate of nearly 70%.
Dr. Om Srivastava, a Mumbai-based infectious diseases specialist, said, “We are seeing an increased number of patients with the infection during the second wave of Covid-19. There are a lot of sick people in the ICUs, and many of them are on high steroid doses. That could be the reason.”
First of all, there was an outbreak of black fungus. It is a rare but dangerous infection that affects the nose, eye, and brain. There are 12000 cases and more than 200 deaths regarding this. Now doctors are also reporting the rise of other dreadful fungal infections for the Covid patients.
There are usually two species of the Candida Fungi- Albicans and Auris. They are fatal for humans. Aspergillus is another kind of fungus that affects the lungs. ALso, these fungi often cause a lot of human deaths.
Candida can be present on many surfaces such as computer screens, stethoscopes, curtains, railings, etc. the Auris causes frequent infections, which can also affect the respiratory system and the central nervous system with the other internal organs.
Aspergillus remains in the environment and found in heating or air conditioning systems. Our immunity also had the normal instinct to protect us from the fungal spores. But the patients who suffer from Covid face damage to the skin, blood vessels, and other airways.
The symptoms can include fever, cough, breathing shortness, etc. Diagnosing the fungus is not easy; the testing requires a specimen from the lungs. Also, the drugs are expensive.
“It is very worrying and frustrating for the doctors treating these infections. It is a triple whammy – the patient’s lungs are already damaged by Covid-19, they have bacterial infections and now fungal infections,” says Dr. Kalantri.