White Fungus Infection – UPSC Prelims

White Fungus:
  • White Fungus is also known as Candidiasis. It is a type of fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida.
  • Candida normally lives on the skin and inside the body in places such as the mouth, throat, gut without causing any problems.
  • However, candida can cause infections if it grows out of control or if it enters deep into the body (for example, the bloodstream or internal organs like the kidney, heart, or brain).
  • Symptoms: 
    • Symptoms of white fungus vary depending on the area affected.
    • Most infections result in minimal complications such as redness, itching, and discomfort.
    • However, complications may be severe or even fatal if left untreated in certain populations.
  • Vulnerable Group: 
    • People with low immunity, pre-existing medical issues, people with diabetes, and people on or using steroids are at a high risk of contracting the infection.
    • COVID-19 patients on oxygen support can inhale these fungal spores if their ventilators and oxygen support equipment is not sanitised properly.
    • Risk is also increased by overuse of steroids and usage of tap water in the humidifier of oxygen cylinders.
  • Prevention:
    • Patients who are on oxygen or ventilators should be taken care of in terms of hygiene.
    • The tubes and equipment should be thoroughly cleaned. Only sterilized water should be used in oxygen cylinder humidifiers.
  • Treatment: It is not life-threatening. The treatment of White Fungus disease is mainly done through antifungal medicines. However, this changes if a person contracts severe disease and lungs are infected.
  • Why in News? New Cases of White Fungus from Covid-19 patients have been reported in states such as Bihar and others.
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