Bhopal: A 55-year-old man who had recovered from COVID-19 has been diagnosed with `white fungus’, a type of fungal infection, in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh even as the state is dealing with an outbreak of mucormycosis or `black fungus’ among coronavirus patients or survivors, a health official said.

Though it was said to be the `first reported case’ in the state during the ongoing second wave of coronavirus pandemic, a senior doctor said white fungus is quite common and curable.

Known as Aspergillus Flavus infection in medical parlance, it is not a new disease, nor is it as fatal as mucormycosis, and is curable with commonly available medicines, she said. The 55-year-old patient was operated on May 17 after complaining of persistent headache and eye pain and a test on Friday revealed that he had white fungus in the nose, said Dr Kavita Sachdeva, head of the ENT department at government-run Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College hospital in Jabalpur.

“He is recovering well and will be discharged shortly,” she said. White fungus is curable with commonly available medicines and does not need expensive injections unlike in the case of mucormycosis, nor is it as deadly, Dr Sachdeva added.

“White fungus is not rare and many people have been cured of it,” she said. This infection is more common in rural areas as it is carried by dust, hay or other such particles, she said.

“It has no direct connection with diabetes, but diabetes aggravates most infections, bacterial and fungal,” she added. On average, five white fungus patients visit the hospital a month, Dr Sachdeva said. “By contrast, mucormycosis is rare. We get eight to ten cases in the entire year,” she added. Meanwhile, MP Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang said on Saturday that the state has reported 650 confirmed cases of black fungus so far.

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