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How Different is Yellow Fungus From Black Fungus And White Fungus?

While India’s struggle with the second wave continues, so do the problems. New cases of fungal infections are constantly rising and are becoming another cause of major anxiety among the common people. Recently, the government declared black fungus an epidemic, but soon new cases of yellow fungus were also reported. Other than yellow fungus, there were cases of green as well as white fungus.

These infections were till recently unheard of, and with new and new names emerging every day, there is fear and panic all around. Another cause of worry is that people are unaware of these conditions and ignorance often leads to confusion and misinformation. Read on to know more about these infections and understand how they are different from each other.

What are Fungal Infections?

Fungal infection or mycosis is a skin disease caused by a fungus. Although the fungus is harmless to human beings, they have the capability of causing disease under some specific conditions. Fungal infections, in general, can be contagious. They can transmit from one person to another. Covid-19 was already a matter of grave concern, the fungal infections correlated with it have sent the people in a state of panic and chaos. India is reeling under the increase in cases of fungal infections, including black, white and yellow. All these types of fungal infections have been linked to Covid-19 cases.

Health experts in India are recording an unnerving number of cases of often- deadly fungal infections among patients who are suffering from or those who have recently recovered from Covid-19. These patients were either diabetic or took some steroids to get rid of coronavirus, a combination that may have made them more vulnerable to the fungi, invading their tissues.

What is Black Fungus?

Even as a deadly second wave of Covid-19 devastates India, doctors are reporting a spike in cases involving a rare infection- The Black Fungus among the patients recovering or recovered from Coronavirus. Though rare, black fungus is a serious infection that is caused by mucormycetes, a group of molds. These mucormycetes are present in the environment naturally and affect people who already have medical problems that have reduced their immunity levels. As a low immunity reduces the individual’s ability to fight pathogens, black fungus is severely affecting people who have been infected with Covid. The lungs and sinuses of such people are affected when they breathe in fungal spores from the air.

What causes Black Fungus?

Black fungus or Mucormycosis is the rarest kind of infection. It is often evident in the skin and also affects the lungs and the brain. It is caused by subjection to mucor mould, which is commonly found naturally in the environment like in soil, manure, plants and decaying fruits and vegetables. But it is not a contagious disease and is not transmitted from one person to the other.

Who is vulnerable to Black Fungus?

Its effect on sinuses, lungs and the brain can be life-threatening. More so, in patients who suffer from diabetes or have their immunity compromised like those suffering from cancer and HIV/AIDS. Usually, micromycetes do not pose a threat to people who have a healthy immune system. Hence, frail immunity can wreak havoc.

Doctors have enough recordings to believe that black fungus, maybe set off by the use of steroids for severe, are seriously ill Covid-19 patients. Doctors are baffled by the frequency and severity of black fungus during this 2nd wave, in comparison to the number of cases witnessed during the first wave last year.

Symptoms of Black Fungus to Watch Out For:

Individuals affected by this fungus typically have symptoms like bleeding and stuffy nose, swelling and pain in the eyes, blurred vision and finally its loss. Black patches around the nose have also been seen in some cases. Headaches, bloody vomits and breathlessness are also some of the symptoms to watch out for.

  • Loosening of teeth, jaw involvement
  • Pain in the cheekbone, numbness or swelling on one side of the face
  • Double or blurred vision with pain
  • blackish/bloody nasal discharge, nasal blockage
  • Black patches/discolouration over the bridge of nose or palate
  • Chest pain and worsening of respiratory symptoms

Seeking immediate medical attention is strongly recommended if any of the symptoms are witnessed by the patient.

Treatment of Black Fungus:

While Black fungus can be treated with antifungals, it may eventually require surgery. Doctors have recommended the control of diabetes, reduce the use of steroids, and discontinue drugs that are immunomodulating.

One should monitor the use of steroids. Using them judiciously is the key to avoiding black fungus. Remember, correct time, correct dose and correct duration play a crucial role in keeping steroids safe.

How to prevent Black Fungus?

As the saying goes- Prevention is better than cure.

  • Maintain good hygiene and cleanliness
  • Limited use of steroids and strict blood glucose control
  • Avoid construction areas, grounds and fields
  • Avoid gardens and contact with soil and plants
  • Wear an N-95 mask when going outdoors

What is White Fungus?

White fungus is another type of fungus that is affecting the Covid-19 patients, mostly after a stay in ICU, for about a week or ten days. The source and the fatality of white fungus have not been confirmed as yet. How deadly white fungus can be in comparison to black fungus is still under investigation. But fungus or any other infection is all around us. It is found in the environment naturally. It is only when we have low immunity, that we become vulnerable to the infections caused by these fungi.

What Causes White Fungus?

The virus of White fungus can be found on many surfaces. It can be found on shower curtains, computer screens etc. But it generally infects people who have immunocompromised health situations. It includes covid-19 positive people, people with high diabetes and people with a high intake of steroids.

Symptoms Of White Fungus To Look Out For?

Symptoms of this fungus will depend upon which part of the body has been infected. It can spread to any body part like the brain, kidney, skin, tongue, genitals or digestive system. The superficial Candida infection includes a thrush (patches), white in colour, hence the name white fungus. It is easily visible in the mouth, nose, stomach, lungs or nail beds. In a more serious form, this fungus enters the blood and causes a fall in blood pressure, abdominal pain, fever or urinary tract infection.

The symptoms of white fungus are similar to that of coronavirus positive patients- cough, fever, shortness of breath. The infection can be detected through an X-ray or CT scan. In case you experience any symptoms, ignoring them is not advisable.

Who Is More Prone to Contacting White Fungus Infection?

Health experts maintain that this fungus can invade anybody with compromised immunity and is not limited to corona positive patients. The list includes elderly people, people suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, or people with uncontrollable diabetes. What adds to this situation is moderate to overuse of steroids which in turn increases the sugar level in the blood.

Prevention Of White Fungus:

The prevention of this fungal infection can be with some simple steps-

  • Judicious use of steroids. Excess of everything is bad, the same goes with the use of steroids
  • Check and control over diabetes
  • Follow the masking and hygiene protocols issued by the health department.
  • Early detection of the fungal infection and its timely treatment.

What is Yellow Fungus?

After black and white fungus, cases of yellow fungus have also been reported. Though as per Dr Navneet Sood, the pulmonary consultant, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, “Such fungal infections prevailed even before the pandemic, it is just that the people were not that aware.”

As per the reports, yellow fungus is more fatal than black and white fungus. This fungus is believed to attack the body parts and if left untreated prevent them from performing functions. Hence, cause organ failure and acute necrosis.

What Causes Yellow Fungus?

So far it has been reported that bad and unhygienic places cause this infection. Unclean surroundings, weak immunity, excess humidity, contaminated places, excessive use of steroids and antibacterial medicines are considered the main causes of the spread of the yellow fungus.

Symptoms of Yellow Fungus to Watch Out For:

Unnecessary fatigue, burning infection on the skin and rashes are seen in the patients suffering from yellow fungus. It infects the internal organs and causes their failure. Lungs are also affected by this fungus. Timely medical assistance is mandatory once it is detected in the body of a person.

How to Prevent Yellow Fungus?

  • Avoid excess moisture or humidity
  • Maintain hygiene everywhere
  • Use of clean water
  • Keep comorbidities in check


With the various types of deadly fungus making an appearance one after the other in the country, people are scared and confused. The difference between all three types of fungus is not clear. There are no clear proofs of which infection is more fatal for humans.

Fungal infections spread through bad hygiene and unclean surroundings. It is important to keep the surroundings clean and maintain good hygiene habits. One must not keep stale food in the house because it serves as a breeding ground for the fungus. Humidity can also prove to be a culprit. So keeping the level of humidity between 30% to 40% can go a long way in curbing the fungus to originate. Proper sanitation at health care centres, proper sanitation of oxygen cylinders/ventilators are some of the simplest and the best ways to contain the spread of fungal infections. Together we can and together we will win this battle against Covid-19!

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