What Is Mucormycosis and How Does It Affect You?
Mucormycosis (known as zygomycosis) is a rare fungal infection of the sinuses, lungs, or skin caused by Mucoromycotina moulds. Moulds can be found in soil and rotting organic matter, including spoiled foods, leaves, compost piles, and rotten wood.
Mucormycosis is a severe infection that affects people who have weak immune systems.
Learn How The Black Fungus Will Impact On Your Vision
A stuffy and bleeding nose, swelling and pain in the eye, hanging down eyelids, and blurred or lost vision are common symptoms of Black Fungus.
Apart from the usual cough and fever symptoms, COVID-19 has a lot of impacts on your body. The new manifestations of the pandemic in India’s second wave have been called “Black fungus.”
The fungus affects people taking medications for other health problems that impair their capacity to fight environmental infections. Some physicians say it’s caused by steroids, which are now used to treat COVID-19 patients and ill.
At least 52 COVID-19 survivors have died of mucormycosis in Maharashtra. In contrast, 1500 others are being treated (Updated on: Friday, May 14, 2021, 11:51 AM IST), according to Dr Tatyarao Lahane, the state government’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research.
Symptoms of the infection include a stuffy and bleeding nose, eye swelling and pain, hanging down eyelids, and blurred or lost vision. Around the nose, there may be black patches of skin.
“They survived COVID-19,” says Dr Lahane, “but the fungal infection attacked their weakened immune system.”
Mucormycosis Facts You Should Be Aware Of
- Mucormycosis is a fungal infection caused by Mucoromycotina moulds found in soil and rotting organic matter.
- Mucormycosis is a severe infection that affects people who have weak immune systems.
- Mucormycosis infection can take two forms: pulmonary or sinus disease, when people inhale fungal spores, and epidermis infection, which occurs when fungus enters through an open wound on the skin.
- Diabetes, Cancer, long-term corticosteroid use, transplants, HIV/AIDS, skin trauma, excess iron, and injection drug use are risk factors for developing mucormycosis.
- The signs and symptoms of mucormycosis vary depending on the part of the body infected by the fungus.
- Fever, nasal ulcers, stuffy nose, facial swelling, vision issues, sinus infection, and headache are symptoms of mucormycosis that affect the sinuses, brain, and eyes.
- Cough, shortness of breath, pneumonia, fever, and chest pain are symptoms of mucormycosis that affect the lungs.
- Blisters or ulcers on the skin, black skin on the infected region, and discomfort, redness, swelling, or moisture around a wound are all symptoms and signs of mucormycosis that affect the skin.
- A medical history and physical examination are used to diagnose mucormycosis. They can also collect fluid or tissue samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis. Other inspections that can perform include a CT scan or an MRI. Mucormycosis cannot detect with precise blood tests.
- Antifungal medications and, in some cases, surgical removal of damaged tissue are used to treat mucormycosis.
- Many factors determine the diagnosis of mucormycosis. The mortality rate is approximately 50%.
- Since mucormycosis-causing fungi are widespread in the environment, inhaling fungal spores may be impossible to avoid.
What Causes Mucormycosis?
Mucormycosis is caused by a fungus called Mucoromycotina. Rhizopus and Mucor are the most common mould species found in human infections.
Rhizomucor, Cunninghamella, Lichtheimia (before known as Absidia), Saksenaea, and Apophysomyces are other Mucoromycotina genera that cause infection less.
Mucormycosis Can Spread In Two Ways:
- Sinus or pulmonary form. The infection will spread to the sinuses and lungs when people inhale the fungal spores. In extreme cases, it may also affect the skin, face, and central nervous system.
- Cutaneous (skin) form. Cuts, scrapes, burns, and other open wounds allow the fungus to penetrate the skin.
Is Mucormycosis Contagious?
Mucormycosis is not transmitted and cannot be transferred from one person to another.
What Is The Mucormycosis Incubation Period?
The incubation time for mucormycosis is uncertain.
What Are Mucormycosis Risk Factors?
Most mucormycosis patients have a weak immune system or another underlying medical disorder that makes them prone to infections. The following are some risk factors for mucormycosis:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes mellitus.
- Infectious disease like Cancer that affects people
- Usage of corticosteroids for a long time
- Transplantation of organs or stem cells
- Trauma to the skin (burns, surgery, or injuries)
- An excessive amount of iron in the body
- Usage of injectable drugs
- Deferoxamine is a drug that is used to treat many types of Cancer (Desferal)
- Malnutrition is a problem that many people face.
- White blood cell count is low (neutropenia)
- Inferior birth weight/premature birth
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Mucormycosis?
The signs and symptoms of mucormycosis vary depending on which part of the body the fungus has infected.
The following are symptoms and signs of Rhinocerebral mucormycosis, which affects the sinuses, brain, and eyes:
- It’s a fever
- Ulcers in the nose
- swelling of the face, vision issues
- infection of the sinuses
- pain in the head
Cough, shortness of breath, pneumonia, fever, and chest pain are all symptoms of pulmonary mucormycosis, which affects the lungs.
The skin affected by the signs and symptoms of cutaneous mucormycosis, which include
- Blisters or ulcers,
- dark skin on the infected region, and
- discomfort, redness, swelling, or
- warmth around a wound is all sign that the damage is infected.
Gastrointestinal mucormycosis is a rare and severe form of mucormycosis that affects the digestive system.
- Abdominal pain,
- gastrointestinal bleeding,
- peritonitis, and
- bowel infarction is the symptoms and indication (tissue death of the colon).
What Is The Treatment For Mucormycosis?
Antifungal medications and, in some cases, surgical removal of damaged tissue are used to treat mucormycosis.
Early treatment with antifungal medications increases the outcome of mucormycosis infection. Therefore, Amphotericin B is usually provided injectable as the first line of defence. Oral posaconazole (Noxafil) or isavuconazole (Cresemba) can be used after patients have reacted to amphotericin B or if they cannot tolerate it.
Surgery is often needed to remove contaminated tissue in mucormycosis.
Currently, there is no vaccine available to avoid mucormycosis.