Mucormycosis or Black fungus especially in Covid 19 patients
What is Mucormycosis / Black fungus?
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment. Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that is being commonly observed after the second wave of COVID-19. Fungi are present everywhere in nature and are particularly found on decaying vegetation and soil. All of us are exposed to this infection as it is caused by inhalation of spores. A healthy immune system can protect us from this Infection. Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
Technically speaking this fungus is white in colour, but the dead tissue because of its infection looks black, hence the common name “Black Fungus”
Who is at risk of mucormycosis?
Conditions like HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, mellitus cancers, organ transplant, long-term corticosteroid and immunosuppressive therapy increase the risk of this disease. Recently Covid patients, especially those who have received steroids ( with or without oxygen supplementation or Immuno-modulatry drugs like Toclizumab) are at high risk
Is mucormycosis contagious?
Mucormycosis is not contagious, and therefore, it cannot transmit between people and animals. Individuals contract this infection by coming in contact with the fungal spores in their environment. If inhaled, the spores can infect the sinus.
What are the symptoms of Mucormycosis Infection?
Symptoms of mucormycosis depend upon the location where fungal growth takes place in the body. Based on these locations mycormycosis can be broadly categorized as following types-
Symptoms of sinus and brain mucormycosis which is commonly affected in Covid patients include:
- One-sided facial swelling, Facial pain
- Nasal or sinus congestion, Sinusitis
- Purulent nasal discharge
- Black lesions on nasal bridge or upper inside of mouth that quickly become more severe
Is black fungus dangerous?
Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, can turn dangerous if left untreated. You need not panic about it and if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Precaution + A strong immune system = No mucormycosis.
What is Treatment of this disease?
A high degree of suspicion is required in early stages due to its non-specefic symptoms and if treated early then results are very rewarding. Hence an early consultation with an ENT surgeon is required. Your ENT surgeon may advise an MRI / CT scan of PNS and brain. He will do a Diagnostic nasal endoscopy and may take a swab (for KOH) or Biopsy if needed. Initial treatment is medical, but with advance stage and dead tissue, surgical debridement (Removal of fungus) is needed.
For any further query you can contact
Dr Rahul Agrawal
DLO, DNB (ENT)
ENT and Cochlear Implant Surgeon
Agrawal Hospital & Research Institute
H-204, Madhav Nagar
Gwalior (MP) 474002
1. For appointment Call 0751-2423700, 01
2. For online consultation WhatsApp on 7974009692