What is Black fungus infection (mucormycosis)?
Black fungus, also known by the name of Mucormycosis, is actually a rare and dangerous infection. The black fungus can be caused by getting into contact with the harmful fungus spores in the environment. It can also be formed in your skin when the fungus enters into the skin through a cut, burn, scrape, or some other type of skin trauma.
Fungi can easily live in the environment, particularly in the soil and also in decaying organic matter such as rotten woods, leaves, compost piles, and so on. This black fungal infection is usually caused by a type of mould which is called 'Mucormycetes’. It should be important to note here that this rare fungal infection majorly affects those persons who have health issues or who use excessive drugs that can weaken the body's ability to fight such infections.
Black Fungus Causes
Mucormycetes or black fungus are a type of mould that can severely cause fungal infections. These moulds can be seen everywhere all around the environment, including the soil, food and even in the air. They enter your body via the mouth, nose, or eyes and can have an impact on your brain if it is not properly treated on time. According to many medical experts, it has been found that the main cause of black fungus (mucormycosis) is the misuse of steroids during the treatment of COVID.
Black fungus (mucormycosis) primarily affects those people who have certain health problems or who take continuous medications that reduce your body's ability to fight against germs and various illnesses. It is seen that the person's immunity becomes too low after covid treatment, which makes them quite vulnerable to be caught with black fungus infection. People with diabetes and are COVID-19 patients are found to be at greater risk of developing a black fungus infection.
Black Fungus Symptoms
The black fungus symptoms will vary depending upon the site of fungus growth in your body. These symptoms may include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling on one side of your face
- Sinus congestion
- Black lesions on the nose top or are inside your mouth
- Belly pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Blood in your stool
When your skin is infected with black fungus, the affected area of the body may appear red, blistered, or swollen. It may even turn black, feel pain or even feel warm. By using the flow of your blood, the infection can also travel to other parts of your body and get that infected. This is actually known to be a disseminated black fungus (mucormycosis). When this infection occurs, the fungus can attack other organs of your body such as your heart and spleen. In some severe cases, you may also experience some mental changes which can even lead to falling into a coma. It can even be very fatal.
Black Fungus Risks
Those people who fall into any of the following categories are more likely to get infected with black fungus:
- Uncontrolled diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, and if also diabetic patients taking any steroids or the tocilizumab.
- Patients taking some of the immunosuppressants or are receiving any anticancer treatment, as well as those who are suffering from a chronic debilitating illness
- Patients who are taking high doses of any steroids or tocilizumab for the extended period
- Many cases of COVID-19 severity.
- Patients who are on oxygen and required the nasal prongs, a mask, or some ventilatory support
- Patients who are getting COVID19 treatment within six weeks are more likely to get infected with the black fungus.
Black Fungus Treatment
Mucormycosis or black fungus treatment must be very fast and aggressive too. Such concerns are due to the fact that when by the time even a presumptive diagnosis is being carried out, the patient has often been suffered major tissue damage that cannot be reversed at any cost.
Most of the black fungus patients will need immediate surgical and medical treatment.
Many of the renowned infectious disease experts say that without any aggressive surgical debridement of that area that got infected with black fungus, the patient is likely to die. Medicines also play a very important role.
The two main goals for starting the drugs are:
- Antifungal drugs are used to slow or stop this fungal spread and
- Some drugs are used to treat debilitating underlying diseases. For example, amphotericin B (initially intravenous) is the most usual and effective drug of choice for antifungal therapy.
- Another drug can be posaconazole or isavuconazole which are found very effective in slowing down or treating the black fungal or mucormycosis.
- Sometimes patients may even require an effective intravenous antifungal procedure that lasts 4 -6 weeks.
- Patients with the black fungal infection that develops some disease like diabetes must be in optimal control.
- Patients who are normally on some steroids or are taking the deferoxamine that is the medicine to remove excessive iron from your body are more likely to have these drugs stopped as soon as possible because they can increase the level of survival of fungi in your body.
- Patients may also need some additional surgeries and are usually need other effective antifungal treatment for over an extended period from some weeks to even months depending upon the severity of the disease.
In diagnosing the black fungus never ignore the warning signs that your body is indicating to you. Also once diagnosed that you are having black fungus don't waste much time to start your treatment from a renowned medical professional in this field because with every minute passed it can get worse and can severely deteriorate your health.