Mucormycosis, commonly known as the black fungus infection or disease, Is caused by subjection to a mucor mould which is commonly found in topsoil, plants, manure, and decaying organic matter. It is ever-present and found in soil and there and even in the nose and mucus of healthy people. It affects the brain, lungs, and sinuses, It can be fatal in diabetic or serious immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people suffering from HIV/ AIDS. It has an overall mortality rate of 50% which is unfortunately very high. Doctors believe mucormycosis may be activated by the use of steroids which is a life-renewing treatment for severe and critically ill covid-19 patients.
Steroids are proven to be essential drugs as they reduce inflammation in the lungs and help stop some of the damage that can happen when the body’s immune gets activated to fight off coronavirus. Sadly, they also reduce immunity and push up blood sugar levels in both diabetic and nondiabetic covid-19 patients. The most common thought is that this drop in immunity could be prompting this continuously growing mucormycosis cases. Even Doctors say that they are surprised by the severity and the frequency of the life-threatening fungal infection. They say that most of their patients arrive late, when they are already losing vision, and helplessly they have to surgically remove the eye to stop the infection from reaching the brain.
Key points :-
- How serious is black fungus infection?
- How does one catch black fungus disease?
- Do’s and don’ts during mucormycosis.
- Common symptoms of black fungus?
How serious is black fungus?
This is a budding serious condition that causes blood or double vision, chest pain, and breathing difficulties. Once infected, people can lose their life within days. However, it is not contagious, as reported by higher authorities. Generally, the body’s defenses fight off the fungus and only those with the excessively feeble immune system are affected. It has been found mostly around the nose, brain, and eyes.
Early aggressive treatment is reported to be crucial. Experts have warned that this fungal infection can happen to people even if they are not affected by the covid-19 virus. People who are suffering from high sugar and any other heart disease are at high risk. The combination of unrestricted diabetes and some other notable disease may lead to black fungus. Any other medical conditions like pneumonia exasperate the situation. Also, people who are in good health should not worry about catching this rare fungal infection.
How does one catch black fungus infection?
Firstly, a fungal spore floating in the atmosphere gives people this infection. One may also receive it when the fungus enters through a cut, burn, or other types of skin aberrations. On coming in contact, the fungus can stick to a body part, And then travel in words through the nose, sinus, mouth, or lungs. If the fungus comes in contact through a cut or injury, it can cause local infections.
But if it moves inside towards the lungs, it can affect the eyes and gradually the brain, leading towards a fatal situation. Some people even say that it develops due to unclean, unhygienic post covid living conditions of patients.
Do’s and don’ts during black fungus disease:
- Control hyperglycemia
- Monitor blood glucose levels.
- Use clean, sterile water for oxygen cylinders.
- Use antibiotic/antifungal judiciously.
- Do not ignore symptoms.
- Do not hesitate to seek medical investigations.
- Do not lose crucial time to start treatment.
- Do not ignore medical guidelines at any cost
What are the symptoms of black fungal infection:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Weak immune system
- Prolonged ICU/hospital stay
- Co-morbidities / post organ transplant / cancer
Steps to prevent mucormycosis :
- Use masks if you are visiting dusty construction sites or stepping anywhere outside your place.
- Wear shoes, long trousers, long sleeve shirts, and gloves while handling soil (gardening), moss, or manure this keeping most of the body parts covered.
- Maintain personal hygiene, including thorough scrub bath
- By controlling diabetes, or stop taking drugs, and reducing the use of steroids, this disease can be managed.