Coronavirus Explained: What Is White Fungus Infection And How It Affects COVID-19 Patients

Coronavirus Explained: What Is White Fungus Infection And How It Affects COVID-19 Patients

White fungus infection occurs mainly among immunocompromised people - COVID-19 positive patients, those with uncontrolled diabetes and people on a high dose of steroids
Coronavirus Explained What Is White Fungus Infection And How It Affects COVID-19 PatientsCOVID-19 infection affects immunity and makes one prone to fungal infections
  • Similar to Black Fungus, the White Fungus is a fungal infection
  • White Fungus infection infects people with compromised immunity
  • From skin to lungs, the White Fungus can infect any part of the body

New Delhi: After the central government on May 20 asked states to notify Black Fungus or Mucormycosis an epidemic, Bihar’s Patna reported four cases of White Fungus. Amid a continuous rise in COVID-19 cases and cases of Black Fungus as well, the report of a new fungal infection is a cause for concern. However, as per experts, there is no need to panic or worry. Similar to Black Fungus, the White Fungus is a fungal infection, being found in COVID-19 patients with compromised immunity. It’s not a novel infection; it has been around for a while and only a handful of cases have been reported so far. Here’s everything else you need to know about White Fungus infection.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: What Is Mucormycosis Or Black Fungus And How It Affects COVID-19 Patients

What Is White Fungus And Who Is At A Higher Risk Of Contracting It?

Fungus or any other infection is all around us; it’s in the environment. It’s only when someone’s immunity is low, they become prone to the infection. As the name suggests, the White Fungus is a fungal infection that occurs mainly among immunocompromised people this includes COVID-19 positive people, those with uncontrolled diabetes and people on a high dose of steroids, explains Dr Rajesh Parikh, Director, Medical Research at Jaslok Hospital and the author of ‘The Vaccine Book for COVID-19’.

Watch: COVID-19 And Mucormycosis Or Black Fungus Infection: All You Need To Know

What Are The Symptoms Of White Fungus Infection?

Dr Om Srivastava, Director Infectious Disease, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre said the symptoms will depend on which part of the body is affected. White fungus infection can spread to any part of the body including skin, tongue, brain, digestive system, kidney, brain and genitals.

If the infection reaches the digestive tract then an individual can face difficulty in eating and swallowing food. If the infection is inside head or skull then the symptoms will be headache and nausea, explained Dr Srivastava who is also a member of Mumbai’s COVID-19 taskforce.

Also Read: Fungal Infection Among COVID-19 Patients Explained: What Is Yellow Fungus?

Some of the common symptoms as shared by Dr Mugdha Tapdiya, Senior Consultant, Internal medicine, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj – Delhi are white patches on skin, white tongue, diarrhoea, hypoxia (low oxygen saturation levels) even after recovery from COVID-19, among others.

Why Are COVID-19 Patients At A Higher Risk Of Contracting White Fungus Infection?

Experts reiterated that the white fungus infection is not limited to COVID-19 patients. Anyone with compromised immunity like elderly people, cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy, HIV positive people, and those with uncontrolled diabetes.

Fungal infection occurs where there is a decrease in immunity for any reason including excessive use of antibiotics which can result in a slight reduction in immune responses of people thereby predisposing them to infections, said Dr Srivastava.

Also Read: Proning Do’s And Don’ts, What Experts Have To Say

The COVID-19 infection attacks an individual’s immune response. What adds to that is the use of steroids in moderate to severe cases which can further affect immunity and increase blood sugar levels.

Dr Tapdiya said that the improper use of oxygen cylinders can also result in infections. She said,

When there was an extreme shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients, people were using whatever kind of cylinder they got. Firstly, one should only use oxygen cylinders approved for medical use. Secondly, use a humidifier bottle to humidify oxygen. Thirdly, water used in humidifier should be sterilised.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explainer: All You Need To Know About Oxygen Concentrators

How To Prevent And Treat White Fungus Infection?

For prevention, Dr Parikh suggested three things – judicious use of steroids; controlled diabetes; basic preventive measures like masking and hand hygiene. Elaborating on the use of steroids, Dr Parikh said,

A knife in a hand of a skilled surgeon can heal but in the hand of butcher, it can hurt. Steroids should only be used in moderate to severe cases and the dosage should not exceed 6 milligrams per dose for 10 days. In certain cases, we may have to give a higher dose and for a longer time but that’s the decision of the treating doctor; patients should not decide on their treatment. If steroids are given early on, in the infection, then these increase the chance of infection as steroids suppress the immunity.

Experts also called for early detection for timely treatment of the infection. The treatment involves the usage of anti-fungal agents given either intravenously or orally.

White fungus is an opportunistic infection. It flourishes in bodies with low immunity. Let’s not hype the infection or be scared of it. Just be cautious and stay in touch with your treating doctor, said Dr Tapdiya.

Watch: Dos And Don’ts Of Using Steroids In COVID-19 Treatment

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.


3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190


33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128


29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44


West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14


14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70



10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270



9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65


9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26



8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33


Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18



7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3


7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3


6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3


5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4


5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20


3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34



3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51


Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84



1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2


1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49



96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11


78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4


63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14


61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4


Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1


37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1


27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4


26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4


20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8


Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6



10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13


Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3



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