Mucormycosis is a rare dangerous and rapidly spreading infection caused by a group of molds known as mucormycetes. These fungal spores are present in the environment esp. in soil, decaying organic matter like leaves/ wood/ compost.
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It got it’s name because of black discolouration of surrounding skin/mucosa.
Most common types of involvement seen are:
- Lung & Sinus: Inhalation route
- Skin: Burns/ Cut/ Scrapes
- Brain: Via Sinus or Eye
[Tweet “Black fungus affects people with low immunity & prolonged illnesses.”]
- Facial swelling & pain
- Eye swelling & Loss of Vision (extension to eye)
- Loss of smell/ Foul smell
- Nasal blockage/ heaviness
- Black lesions on nose/ mouth/ skin
- Gum swelling (extending to mouth)
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Gastrointestinal symptoms could be commonly found along with the disease, symptoms like diarrhea/ nausea/ vomiting, etc. are present. Mucormycosis is dangerous because it erodes the surrounding bone and tissues and could invade the brain/ Eye/ mouth etc.
There are few illness & conditions that makes a person more prone to getting infected by the spores.
- Uncontrolled diabetes/ diabetic ketoacidosis
- Organ transplant
- Stem cell transplant
- Long term steroid
- Iron overload
- Neutropenia (low white blood cells)
It’s very difficult to avoid the fungus completely but taking precaution could limit the exposure to spores.
- Avoid spore inhalation, use masks/ respirators
- Avoid direct contact with water-damaged buildings
- Wear protective gear while reclamation or restoration work of buildings
- Avoid contact with contaminated water esp. after floods or hurricanes
- Boost immunity
[Tweet “Black fungus is not contagious“]
It doesn’t spread by person-to-person contact.
- CT scan of involved part like Sinus/ Lungs
- Biopsy is confirmatory test
- Control the underlying disease
- Stop medications like steroids/ immunosuppressants
- Amphotericin B (Intravenous)
Debridement (removal) of infection.
- Blood clots
- Blocked vessels
- Nerve damage
Although this disease is very dangerous and rapidly spreading, Early detection and Treatment are the keys to survival.
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