Mucormycosis or Black Fungus Disease is a serious but rare fungal infection caused due to a rare killer fungus called Mucor which exists in the environment, often found on wet surfaces.

It is seen in the form of blackish moulds. People get mucormycosis when they come in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. The fungus causes the disease that has now been linked to the airborne COVID-19 infection. The infection was first observed during the first ‘wave’ of the pandemic. It was previously known as zygomycosis

Who is affected the most?

Prior to the COVID era, Black Fungus was extremely rare and found only in immunocompromised people. However, coronavirus itself reduces immunity levels, largely affects diabetic people, and is treated with steroids if serious. As a result, COVID survivors are vulnerable to the infection, especially in the severe second wave.

Black Fungus generally affects COVID-19 recovered patients who have other comorbidities like diabetes, kidney or heart failure, cancer as well as patients who are on steroids or have had a transplant.

However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States said it is most common in diabetic patients.

The fungal infection raises panic with a mortality rate of more than 50 per cent if diagnosed late.

Common symptoms of Black Fungus Disease

  1. One-sided facial swelling
  2. Nasal or sinus congestion
  3. Headache
  4. Fever
  5. Black lesions on nasal bridge or upper inside of the mouth
  6. Partial loss of eyesight
  7. Pain under the eyes

Diagnosis

  1. Early detection will aid the patient’s medication for the fungal infection and clinical intervention to the affected area.
  2. MRI scans determine the level of damage the fungus may have caused
  3. Mucormycosis, if left undiagnosed or untreated, may result in blindness, removal of the nose, jaw-bone, or even death.

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