Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus infection is increasing among the COVID patients.
- The National COVID Task Force recently issued an advisory against Mucormycosis.
- This disease is rare but recently this disease has been increasing among COVID patients in Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
What is Mucormycosis?
- Mucormycosis sometimes also called zygomycosis is a disease that mainly affects the skin, lungs and brain.
- It is rare fungal infection.
- It is caused by a group of molds called Mucoromycetes which are found in soil, leaves, or rotting woods.
- The fungus can enter the body through breathing, open wounds or cuts.
- It mainly affects people who are on medication.
- The lungs or sinuses of the recovering COVID patients get affected after they inhale fungal spores from the air.
- However, it is not a major threat to those with a healthy immune system.
- It causes redness around the eyes, nose.
- Also, the person suffers from headache, fever, bloody vomits, shortness of breath, altered mental status.
- Mucormycosis is suspected when a person suffers from sinusitis, local pain on cheek bone, blackish discoloration over bridge of nose, chest pain, thrombosis, plural effusion, necrosis, blurred vision, etc.
How can it be diagnosed?
- You should see a doctor if you are experiencing the above symptoms post the COVID recovery.
- A definite diagnosis will be made by the identification of fungi in the patient’s tissue.
- For this, a doctor may collect a sample of your nasal discharge.
- Mucormycosis might lead to loss of eyes or upper jaws.
- Such patients might require a surgery.
- The treatment of Mucormycosis includes infusion of saline, Amphotericin and other anti-fungal therapies.
Task Force Advisory:
- Advisory goes on to say that Mucormycosis, if uncared for, may turn fatal.
- To prevent disease, blood glucose level should be monitored post-Covid discharge
- The COVID Task Force has recommended to control hyperglycemia after discharge.
Why are COVID patients susceptible to Mucormycosis?
- The immunity level of a person recovering from COVID-19 is very low.
- The Mucoromycetes easily affects persons with very low immunity levels.
- It is especially common among COVID patients who are treated with steroids to reduce inflammation.
- Inflammation is a condition where a part of the body is swollen, reddened and is often painful due to an infection or reaction to injury.