Just when we thought we had a good understanding of how to treat our sickest Covid 19 patients we are now discovering that some of our patients, particularly, the sickest ones, may have died not just from the Covid 19 virus but because of a concurrent infection with a fungus.
Fungus infections are uncommon in most medical settings and are not specifically reported. They usually occur in seriously ill patients with impaired immune status. The most common fungus to be involved with Covid 19 is one called aspergillus. The condition has been found to be common enough to have an acronym, CAPA or Covid=associated pulmonary aspergillosis. Lung infections with a fungus, particularly in the face of a Covid 19 infection can be difficult to diagnose. There really are no good blood tests and procedures such as bronchoscopy to get material for culture may be hazardous to these patients. These problems are further compounded by the fact that there are few treatment options, and some have serious side effects and are not very effective. Covid infection can affect local immune function in the lungs making them more susceptible to invasion by a fungus. This infection significantly influences mortality.
Covid is not the only virus infection that can be associated with a fungal infection. Mortality of 51% at 90 days has been reported for Influenza victims who also get invasive aspergillosis. All the more reason to get all the protection you can against serious disease with Influenza and Covid.