Mucormycosis is the deadly black fungus disease threatening the already scared-for-life Indians. With the sky-touching numbers in Covid cases following the second wave in India, the already-stretched healthcare system is now witnessing a rare yet fatal disease that was dormant for several months.
Mucormycosis, popular as “black fungal disease” – a rare yet opportunistic fungal infection that is affecting individuals with severely compromised immune systems is now taking a toll on patients throughout India. Mucormycosis owes its root as an opportunist fungal infection, which by definition, means a fungal disease that rarely affects unhealthy or healthy humans otherwise but can cause serious health hazards when the immune system is severely down, as after an attack by the Coronavirus.
Scientists from all over the world have pointed towards a severe spike in the cases of mucormycosis which took a figure of tens of thousands of cases in a single month. Previously, only a handful of cases were recorded over a decade time. This has called for serious preventive measures to be taken by every person whether or not affected by Covid-19. How to detect whether you are facing a Mucormycosis attack? Read on to find out the major symptoms and immediate medical attention to be taken in case you have similar symptoms.
Symptoms of Mucormycosis (Black Fungus Disease)
The symptoms that the black fungus disease is unfurling on different systems is still unclear owing to the fact that the symptoms are vast and uneven in different patients. However, the vast symptoms can include any of the following but are not limited to:
Infection of sinus and brain
If the infection spreads in the sinus or brain, it is known as rhinocerebral in nature. This can recur symptoms of fever, fever, swelling, pain, and a stuck nose.
Infection of the lungs by the fungus can lead to cough, chest pain, asthma-like symptoms.
Abdominal pain, nausea, morning sickness, and GI bleeding are commonly being reported by few patients suffering from an abdominal infection from the fungus.
The most common symptom is black spots or dots that rapidly spread over the skin, discoloration of the nose, and should be an alarming sign demanding immediate medical attention. Other symptoms may be coughing blood and blurred vision.
The most common cause of acquiring the disease is by inhaling or contacting the mold spores from the soil, rotten foods, or compost piles. However, it is most unlikely to be contagious. People with the severely affected immune system are the most prone to this disease and Covid-19 is the major cause of a severely compromised immune system.
Are you at risk?
Not everyone who contracts the Coronavirus will develop a Mucormycosis infection but certain conditions can improve the probability of acquiring such disease. For example, if you are on chemotherapy, a ‘misused’ steroid therapy (according to AIIMS personnel), have diabetes, or a severely compromised immune system are at maximum risk.
Cure of Black fungus disease
Thankfully, anti-fungal drugs are available to the rescue of such symptoms and even the disease altogether. However, doctors may recommend surgically removing the infected portion of the lungs to prevent the fungus from spreading.
Prevention of Black fungus disease
The only preventive measure recommended by scientists and doctors is to strengthen the immune system by adequate vitamin and mineral supplements, Ayurvedic or natural products like ginger, lemon, Indian gooseberry, etc.
The rather rare occurrence of the disease is limiting the knowledge of scientists and doctors on the actual mortality rate. Some of the scientists believe more than 54% of the infected patients die acquiring the disease. The preventive measures are the only way of fighting the fungus and along with the use of a mask, frequent hand wash, and not being in close contact with possible surfaces like soil, rotten bread, etc. is recommended.