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Podcast EP 4: Interview with Dr. Abhimanyu Sharma on Black Fungus (Mucormycosis)

On may 25th, Aaroogya hosted a podcast episode in partnership with Silicon Valley Global Health to interview Dr. Abhimanyu Sharma about how the recent uptick in Mucormycosis—also known as black fungus—may be connected to the COVID outbreak.

As a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and writer of over 40 scientific articles on a wide variety of topics related to COVID-19 and beyond, Dr. Sharma stresses how the COVID pandemic has created the perfect “recipe” for the growth of black fungus.

A severe COVID infection can often interfere with and impact the respiratory system, while also increasing blood clotting tendencies. This helps provide a dangerously ideal environment for Respiratory Mucormycosis, Rhino-Orbital-Cerebral (ROC) Mucormycosis, and Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis (GIM) to thrive, as the former attacks the lungs and the latter two impact blood vessels.

However, while the environment wherein black fungus thrives is created in part by the ways in which COVID affects the body, the way in which COVID has been treated in India has also contributed to the problem. Because Mucormycosis can exist on soil, dirty fabrics, rotten food, and other unsterilized or unhygienic surfaces, as well as in the air, the misuse of medications, unsterilized oxygen and medical equipment, and unhygentic quarantine practices have likely contributed to the recent growth in black fungal infections.

Black fungus is curable if caught soon enough though, Dr. Sharma assures. Considering the severity of later-stage black fungus however, it is still imperative for hospitals and patients to ensure clean medical supplies, oxygen, living situations, and quarantine environments. Additionally, Dr. Sharma pleads: if you contract ROC or GIM, please allow your doctor to intervene surgically as opposed to treating the infection just with medications because the blood vessel constriction caused by these two modes of Mucormycosis can inhibit intravenous medicines from reaching the target treatment location in the body.

View the episode for more information at the link below:

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