India White Fungus Epidemic Leaves Patients With Perforated Food Pipe and Intestine

World's first case of White fungus causing multiple perforations in the intestines of a COVID-19 patient is found in a hospital based in Delhi, India. The patient, who was admitted in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH), reported extreme abdominal pain, vomiting and constipation.

India, which is battling the severe second wave of the pandemic, has so far reported thousands of cases of black fungus in COVID-19 patients. There have also been reports of patients suffering from yellow fungus.

white fungus
After Black fungus, cases of white and yellow fungus in COVID-19 are being reported. Representational Image/Twitter

Perforations Extended from Food Pipe to the Intestines

The Telegraph Online reported that previously there were cases involving white fungus causing one or two perforations in the intestine of COVID-19 patients. However, in the latest case, the perforations started from the food pipe till the large intestine.

The outlet quoted Dr Anil Arora, chairman of the Institute of Liver, Gastroenterology and Pancreaticobiliary Sciences at the hospital, saying that White Fungus (Candida) causing multifocal perforations in the food pipe, small bowel and large bowel in COVID-19 infection has not been reported in literature to the best of their knowledge.

The 49-year-old patient, who underwent mastectomy last year, was admitted to the hospital on May 13 after complaining of abdominal pain, vomiting and constipation. During a CT scan, air and free fluid were found in the abdominal cavity, indicating intestinal perforation, reported PTI.

After removing a litre of bile-stained pus by placing a tube inside the woman's abdomen, the patient was taken for surgery.

"The surgery revealed perforation in the lower end of the food pipe. A part of the small intestine had developed gangrene and sloughed off, and the patient had multiple thinned out patches in the wall of the colon with one small leak," said Dr Samiran Nundy, the lead surgeon.

Surgery to Close the Perforations Lasted Four Hours

"The perforations were closed and the gangrenous segment was resected in a difficult surgery lasting four hours, after which a piece of intestine was sent for biopsy," he added further.

Stating that the patient's COVID-19 antibody levels were markedly elevated, Dr Arora said that her blood and peritoneal fluid culture also revealed exuberant growth of the fungus.

Since the outbreak of the second wave in the country, India has reported 11,700 cases of Mucormycosis. Hindustan Times reported that following a call given by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US-based biopharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences has amped up the supply of Liposomal Amphotericin B injections (AmBisome) to India.

Gilead has so far sent over one lakh vials of the vaccine used to cure Mucormycosis or Black Fungus, to India.

Related topics : Coronavirus