Recently discovered, Mucormycosis also known by the name of black fungus, is a rare condition found in patients suffering from Covid-19. The fungi belong to a rare category of fungal infection known as zygomycosis.
The mucormycosis is usually found in environmental elements exposed to mucor mould. This type of mould is mostly found in the decaying soil, fauna, and manure.
Most of the fungal infections belonging to the zygomycosis group infect an individual via respiratory tracts and other sensory organs like eyes and skin when an individual is on a course of steroids. The rare fungal infection came under the spotlight during the second wave of pandemic and medical experts believe that its mortality rate among infections is approximately 50%.
It has been discovered that black fungus mostly infects an individual during steroid consumption. And based on previous findings, Medical professionals believe that mucormycosis has been triggered with the steroids used to treat SARS-COV-1.
As per the hypothesis created by doctors from the data collected by medical history of infections, steroids that are used to reduce surface symptoms like inflammation in the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract also appear to lower down the immunity of an individual. The steroids also heighten the level of sugar in the blood of covid patients irrespective of their previous medical history.
The fungal infection typically strikes an individual brain, respiratory tract, and optics. The manifestation of the fungus can be detected through surface symptoms like black patches of skin ( usually around the nose and eyes along with blur and swelled vision and nose bleeding.
Mucormycosis of the black fungus is commonly present in our surroundings and at some point, every individual has come into its contact, although it only shows its impact when an individual has a case of low immunity. Some of the reasons responsible for degrading an individual immune system are-
One of the most common reasons associated with the low immunity of a person is an unhealthy life. Extensive consumption of fast food, insufficient physical activity, consumption of alcohol and tobacco, etc.
Unbalanced meals can also cause an imbalance in the production of acid and other minerals which may lead to other physical illnesses. Especially during pregnancy, poor nutrition can lead to the premature birth of the fetus.
Disease like cancer, tumor or diabetes, can lead to prolonged damage of the internal system which also makes your immune system fragile and vulnerable, which makes an individual prone to other illnesses.
During the second wave of the covid pandemic, continuous consumption of steroids is one of the most highlighted causes of black fungus. Steroids not only fluctuate an individual blood sugar level but also weakens the immunity system.
One of the most common substance abuse that causes weak immunity is drug abuse, similar to steroid consumption, the overdose of unprescribed drugs debilitates an individual immunity which makes it easy for external bacteria and viruses to invade an individual’s body.
Physical Alterations like delivery to the newborn, major operation for cancer or tumor, or any other surgery which may unbalance major organs can develop weakness in the body. Duration of the weakness Depends upon the root cause of alteration. Longer periods of weakness can also develop weakness in the immune system.
Mucormycosis can affect various organs, but majorly shows its effects on the sensory and nervous system. Some of the symptoms of black fungi are:
Respiratory infections like Mucormycosis are hard to prevent, especially if one lives in an area that is prone to molded dust or soil. Although here are some safety measures that one can adopt to prevent itself from getting infected:
If not treated on time, the infection caused by a black fungus can lead to severe organ damage and other illnesses like:
In some cases, the infection can be so severe that it may damage the site of infection completely. In that case, your doctor may council you for surgery to operate the whole organ out of the body. In critical conditions, the disease can cause life-threatening situations or even death.
Since the cases are quite unstable in the current pandemic situation, it is difficult for the health experts to conclude any frequency rate of the disease. Even though there is no specific outbreak region of the disease, each state in India is detecting new cases every day!
The disease is quite frequent in those who have low immunity due to any underlying disease or prolonged consumption of steroids and drugs when they are exposed to the disease.
The treatment of mucormycosis depends on the root cause of the infection, if it is due to excessive intake of medication and drugs, your doctor may suggest you cut down the dose. On the other hand, if it is due to any other external or internal illness, then medication like isavuconazole, amphotericin B, and posaconazole can come in handy to treat mild to moderate infection.
If the condition is above moderate situation, an antifungal intravenous injection will be recommended for the duration of the upcoming 8 weeks.
In most critical conditions where the infection cannot be treated with medication and infection, your doctor will suggest an operation to remove the infection part from the body.
To ensure full recovery, the patient needs to keep a close look for any signs that the project replaces the infection in the body.
The origin of the black fungus is still not specified yet, although it is found in the places where wet soil and decay plants have been found.
Furthermore, It is believed by medical professionals that mucormycosis has an mortality rate of 50% as per the data collected so far. The root cause due to which this infection triggers is maybe the use of steroids, a treatment which is used to cure severe and critically ill Coronavirus patients.
The reason behind steroids being used to treat covid patients is to reduce inflammation in the lungs and prevent further damage. On the other hand steroids are also responsible for weakening the immune system and pushing up blood sugar levels in Covid-19 patients. This can be a reason why patients suffering from covid are mostly affected by black fungus infection.
The initial stages to diagnose the infection will include a physical examination followed by an examination of your medical, travel, and lifestyle history. According to the general analysis, the doctor will collect a sample of your nose and throat fluid and send them to the lab for further analysis. The doctor will also collect a sample of infected skin via biopsy for laboratory testing.
Other than sample collection, imaging tests like CT or MRI scans will also be conducted to analyze the overall condition of the infected organ.