Cases of Black Fungus have been on the rise prompting the government to issue an evidence-based advisory about the disease on Sunday. The advisory said that the fungal infection mainly affects people who are on medication that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens. Here is what we know about Mucormycosis:
What is Mucormycosis
Mucormycosis, known colloquially as the black fungus, is a rare but dangerous fungal infection caused by a group of moulds known as mucormycetes, which are present naturally in the environment.
They only cause serious complications when a patient has pre-existing health problems or has taken medication that compromises the immunity system.
The fungal spores commonly enter through inhalation and affect the sinuses or lungs. They can also enter through an open cut or wound and infect the skin.
What are the symptoms?
Warning symptoms include pain and redness around the eyes and nose, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomits and altered mental status, stated the government advisory. In Covid-19 patients with diabetes and immuno-suppressed individuals, one must suspect Mucormycosis if there is:
- Sinusitis, nasal blockage or congestion
- One-side facial pain or numbness
- Blackish discoloration over the bridge of the nose or palate
- Blurred or double vision with pain
- Skin lesion
- Chest pain and worsening respiratory symptoms
Major risk factors for this disease include uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, prolonged ICU stay, malignancy and voriconazole therapy, the ICMR-health ministry advisory stated.