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Black fungus or Mucormycosis in India: Fatality, Effect, Role in Blood, Common complaints, Treatment, Precautions

Black fungus or Mucormycosis, amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has emerged out as a deadly hazard for Covid-recovered people which was uncommon until rise in its cases. 

By Dr Diksha Srivastava & Dr Gurudutt Tyagi

Black fungus or Mucormycosis fatality

Black fungus or Mucormycosis is a fungal infection caused by a mucor mold, present in soil and atmosphere. Case fatality rate is 54%.

Black fungus or Mucormycosis fatality effect

 It affects the skin, nose, eye, ears, lungs and brain. 

Black fungus or Mucormycosis role in blood

Also called as blood fungus, it attacks carotid artery. As a branch of it supplies the eye, this reaches the eye and the patient may have to go for evisceration (Removal of Eye) .

Prof Vijaynath Mishra, neurology dept, BHU tells that this fungus invades and pierce the blood vessels of the body, acts as obstacle leading to Gangrene. It travels to brain also causing neurological problems.

Dr. Suryakant, HOD, Respiratory medicine, KGMU tells that patients recovering from Covid-19 get bugged by it due to their weak immunity.

Black fungus or Mucormycosis Photo

Black fungus or Mucormycosis: Who are prone to this infection

-Those with elongated hospital stay/ ICU/ventilator  

-Those on prolonged medications especially steroids & antibiotics

-Peoplewith comorbidities like diabetes, kidney/heart disease or cancer. 

-Immuno-compromised patients

Black fungus or Mucormycosis: Common complaints 

•Swelling

•Eyes – pain, redness, in later stages blurring of vision and even blindness. 

•Nasal obstruction

•Breathlessness,

•Fever and •hematemesis(blood in vomit)

•Brain – severe headache, fainting, convulsions, paralysis. It may be life threatening. 

Black fungus or Mucormycosis: When to contact a doctor?

It is advisable to contact the doctor immediately if the patient experience any above symptoms. Biopsy/Xray or CT scan of chest or brain/MRI of brain and arteries and other laboratory test can be used for diagnosis.Do not hesitate in going for these investigations.

Black fungus or Mucormycosis treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. It ranges from anti-fungal therapy to removal of eyes, nose or jawbone and surgeries and can be costly. The disease is not contagious. CDC states that with early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of the disease can be improved.

Black fungus or Mucormycosis Precautions

•Always wear mask

•Maintain hygiene

•Wear shoes while walking in garden & wash hands after gardening etc.

•Most importantly, keep a check on the sugar levels and avoid excessive intake of steroids.

•Do not take any medicines without consulting your doctor

By regulating the blood glucose levels and dosage of steroids, this menace can be prevented. 

Remember one step we take forward, the disease takes a step back. Hang tight. We will win this over together. Stay safe.

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