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Black Fungus Or Mucormycosis : Cause, Treatment And Prevention

From the past few days, you must have heard about the rare but deadly infection known as mucormycosis or black fungus in most covid recovered patients. What is mucormycosis, and what causes it? Is the fungal infection linked to covid? How Real is the danger? How to treat and prevent mucormycosis? Keep on reading as we tell you everything you need to know about this deadly fungal infection. 

Mucormycosis Or Black Fungus

Mucormycosis is a common fungus present around us in soil, vegetation, air, and even food. Our bodies are exposed to this virus during our day-to-day activities. Black fungus is caused by a group of moulds called mucormycetes. 

How Dangerous Is Mucormycosis To Humans?

Though the black fungus surrounds us, our immune system is extremely equipped in fighting its infection. Mucormycosis primarily affects people who have uncontrolled diabetes, immunosuppression, and cancer. The immune system of people who are taking medication for other health conditions is weak, and hence, is unable to fight environmental pathogens. Though the fungal infection is deadly, it is not contagious like covid-19. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Mucormycosis?

  • Pain/redness around nose/eyes
  • Swelling in eyes
  • Jaw or teeth pain
  • Blackish/Bloody discharge from nose
  • Fever
  • Severe headache
  • Chest pain
  • Visual changes such as double vision or sudden blindness
  • Sinusitis (congestion or nasal blockage)
  • Pain on the cheekbone
  • Blood clot 
  • Blackish discolouration over the bridge of the nose
  • Skin lesion

Why Is It Affecting Covid-19 patients? What Is The Relation Between Mucormycosis And Covid-19?

People with uncontrolled diabetes are at risk of contracting covid-19. If contracted, they are treated with steroids, which further comprises their already weak immune system and putting them at higher risk of contracting the black fungus infection. While steroids help reduce the inflammation in the lungs, they decrease the patient’s immunity and blood sugar levels. The basic relation between covid-19 and mucormycosis can be explained as a type of opportunistic infections. When the immune system is breached by an illness, fungi that are otherwise harmless takes advantage and attacks the human tissues. However, not all covid-19 patients are susceptible to the fungal infection, especially those patients who did not receive any steroids or had their diabetes under control. 

Prevention Of Mucormycosis

For the prevention of black fungus, good diabetes care is critical. If the patient is being given steroids for covid-19 treatment, strict sugar monitoring is essential. While the patient is being recovered from covid-19, active surveillance of symptoms by an ENT specialist can prevent the chances of contracting the fungal infection. Apart from this, doctors are being advised to use antibiotics, antifungals and steroids judiciously. The humidifiers used during the oxygen therapy should be sterilised to check for the presence of pores. 

Treatment Of Mucormycosis

  • If the patient shows any symptom of the fungal infection, doctors should immediately reduce the steroids or discontinue them.
  • Immunomodulating drugs should be discontinued if the patient shows any signs of mucormycosis.
  • If the patient has contracted the infection, doctors can go for surgery for removing all necrotic material.
  • Antifungal therapy can be done for at least four to six weeks in the treatment of mucormycosis
  • Amphotericin B is used for the treatment of the black fungus

Source : All the above-mentioned information has been taken from the official website of Indian Council of Medical Research.

Source link: https://bit.ly/3weojO7

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