New Delhi: After the Covid-19 crisis led to a rise in other infection cases popularly known as the black, white and yellow fungus infections, doctors in Vadodara have reported 8 cases of another fungal infection called aspergillosis.
Besides Vadodara, aspergillosis cases have also been reported by doctors in Mumbai and Ghaziabad among patients who are Covid positive or have recovered from the disease.
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What Is Aspergillosis?As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, aspergillosis is an infection caused by a ground of fungi called Aspergillus. It is a common mould infection that lives indoors and outdoors.
It is so common that most people inhale Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick. However, people with a weakened immune system or lung disease are at a greater risk of developing health issues because of it. The symptoms can include allergic reactions, infection in body organs including lungs.
Risk Factors For AspergillosisIt’s probably impossible to completely avoid breathing in some Aspergillus spores. People with healthy immune systems do not have to worry too much as it isn’t harmful to them.
However, for people who have weakened immune systems, breathing in Aspergillus spores can cause an infection in the lungs or sinuses which can spread to other parts of the body.In the current context, Invasive aspergillosis is perhaps most important to note as it usually occurs in people who are already sick from other medical conditions.
Invasive aspergillosis affects people who have weakened immune systems, such as people who have had a stem cell transplant or organ transplant, are getting chemotherapy for cancer, or are taking high doses of Corticosteroids.
Invasive aspergillosis has been described among hospitalized patients with severe influenza as well.
Is Aspergillosis Contagious?According to the US CDS, that there are different types of aspergillosis ranging from infections that are mild to very serious. However, Aspergillosis can’t spread between people or between people and animals from the lungs.
Symptoms Of Invasive Aspergillosis The different types of aspergillosis can cause different symptoms. In terms of Invasive aspergillosis, the patient’s pre-existing condition can make it difficult to know which symptoms are related to an Aspergillus infection.
Fever is a common symptom of invasive aspergillosis. Symptoms in the lungs include fever, chest pain, cough, coughing up blood, shortness of breath. Other symptoms can develop if the infection spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body, the US CDS states.
PrecautionsFor people who have weakened immune systems, taking precautions can lower the chances of developing a severe Aspergillus infection. These actions are recommended, they haven’t been proven to prevent aspergillosis, US CDS state:
- Avoid areas with a lot of dust. If you can’t, wear an N95 respirator while you’re there.
- Avoid activities that involve close contact with soil or dust, such as gardening. Wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when doing outdoor activities such as gardening, yard work, or visiting wooded areas.
- Wear gloves when handling materials such as soil, moss, or manure.
- Clean skin injuries well with soap and water, especially if they have been exposed to soil or dust.
- If you are at high risk for developing invasive aspergillosis, your healthcare provider can prescribe medication to prevent infection.
- Some high-risk patients can benefit from blood tests to detect invasive aspergillosis. Consult your doctor to determine if you should undergo such a test.
- With respect to recent fungal infections, indiscriminate use of steroids, serious hospitalization to Oxygen support have been cited as possible reasons. People are strongly advised to follow their doctor’s opinion and not seek steroid treatment on their own.
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