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Mucormycosis Or Black Fungus: Know Possible Causes Of This Fungal Disease

Mucormycosis commonly known as black fungus is a rare disease. Some cases of mucormycosis have been reported during in Covid-19 cases. Read here to know details about this severe condition from expert.

Mucormycosis Or Black Fungus: Know Possible Causes Of This Fungal Disease

Mucormycosis or black fungus may affect individuals with weak immunity, says expert

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Mucormycosis is commonly known as black fungus
  2. Uncontrolled blood sugars can increase your risk
  3. Timely intervention can help fight this condition effectively

Mucormycosis, also called black fungus, is a deadly fungal disease that has been relatively uncommon in India until the past few months witnessed a spurt in the Covid-19-induced cases of the disease. This rare fungal infection, also called zygomycosis, is caused by a group of fungi called mucormycetes that are ubiquitous in the environment.

Mucormycosis or black fungus: Know all about it


Though human beings are generally resistant to these fungi, people with weakened immunity, such as uncontrolled diabetic, Covid-19 patients, or people on steroids, are susceptible to the infection. The frequency of this infection has drastically increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in conjunction with Covid-19 in diabetic patients. It is unclear if the virus itself is causing this problem of other associated factors are playing a significant role. However, experts estimate the following possibilities behind the recent spurt in the infection.

1. Poor pre-existing blood sugar control due to lack of access to medical facilities during lockdown

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People with uncontrolled diabetes are at a higher risk of mucormycosis
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Reduced physical activity in diabetic patients during lockdown aggravating cases of poor blood sugar control

3. Most importantly use of steroids in Covid-19 patients causing a sudden rise of blood sugar levels in patients with already poorly controlled diabetes.

Also read: Do You Get Symptoms Even After Recovering From COVID-19? Here's What You Need To Know

These fungi enter the human body through nostrils by breathing mold spores in the air or an open wound in any part of the body. While there are several different strains of these fungi, the Rhinocerebreral type is the most common in India that impacts the sinus, eye and brain. The common symptoms include headache, cough, nasal congestion, sinus pain or fever. The disease can begin in any part of the human body and gradually spread to other areas. If left untreated, Mucormycosis can lead to the loss of vision, pneumonia, seizures, brain infection and death in over 50% of the cases.

Also read: What Should You Do When COVID-19 Spreads To The Lungs? Know From Our Expert

People with existing co-morbidities, especially diabetes, should be extra-vigilant for their health amid such time. Good control of blood sugars is the most important preventive strategy to avoid this disease. Mucormycosis is hard to diagnose owing to its rarity. Timely intervention is highly recommended for treatment. A typical diagnosis is taken on a case-by-case basis on the recommendation of a doctor through techniques such as a CT scan or a tissue biopsy. The treatment typically involves a sizeable and regular dosage of anti-fungal medication together with surgical debridement of the infected tissue.

(Dr. Sameer Kaushal- Head- Department of Opthalmology, Artemis Hospitals)


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