Mucormycosis or Black Fungus

#GS2 #HEALTH

  • The new fear after the treatment of COVID-19, especially in an ICU setting, is contracting a severe disease known as mucormycosis. This is a serious, but rare, fungal infection caused by a group of fungi known as mucormycetes. 
  • Mucormycosis usually affects people who have poor immunity, and those with uncontrolled diabetes have the highest risk of developing it. Other risk factors of mucormycosis include steroid treatment, those who have malignancies, HIV/AIDS, and those who have been treated with medicines such as deferoxamine for iron overload conditions. 
  • Mucormycosis is of several types, of which the commonest is rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis. 
  • This starts as a common cold or sinusitis but soon spreads to the eyes producing redness of the eyes, and later bulging of the eyes known as proptosis. It may eventually lead to paralysis of some of the eye muscles, or even to blindness. 
  • It can also spread to the brain, and if this occurs, the prognosis is very grave. Other forms of mucormycosis include the pulmonary form in which the lungs are mainly involved and less common cutaneous mucormycosis or disseminated mucormycosis, where it spreads throughout the body. The last two are also associated with a very poor prognosis.
  • A very high index suspicion of mucormycosis is needed by the clinician treating COVID-19 cases, particularly in the setting of diabetes and steroid use. If the condition is diagnosed early and aggressive treatment given, the prognosis is good. 
  • Antifungal drugs such as Amphotericin B are used, but they are quite toxic and also expensive. 
  • If the involvement is extensive, radical surgery may be needed as a lifesaving measure in some cases, including removal of the jaw or the eye.
A Quick Guide To Mucormycosis — The Life-threatening Fungal Infection In  COVID-19 Patients

 

Conclusion:

  • It is very important to get oneself fully vaccinated. 
  • Vaccination will ensure that the risk of developing severe COVID-19, requiring hospitalization, and thus the risk of developing dangerous infections such as mucormycosis, can be drastically reduced.

 

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