Black Fungus UPSC | What is Mucormycosis | Symptoms | Causes |

Black Fungus UPSC | What is Mucormycosis | Symptoms | Causes | Treatment – The Union government has asked the States to declare mucormycosis, the fungal infection being reported in COVID-19 patients, an epidemic. In a letter to the States, Health and Family Welfare Ministry said declaring the black fungus infection seen in COVID-19 patients an epidemic would lead to health facilities screening for it and reporting all such cases to the government.

About Mucormycosis:

  • Mucormycosis is a rare but serious infection that is caused by a group of moulds called mucormycetes. Colloquially termed ‘Black Fungus’, it was previously known as
  • Mucormycosis largely affects people who have health problems or use medicines that depress the body’s ability to combat germs and illness.
  • It reduces the ability to fight environmental pathogens.
  • It most commonly afflicts the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air.
  • It can also happen on the skin after a burn, cut or other type of skin wound through which the fungus enters the skin.
  • It can also affect the brain.
  • People having co-morbities, variconazole therapy, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids or prolonged ICU stay can get predisposed to the fungal infection.
  • Warning signs include headache, fever, coughing, blood vomits, breathlessness and altered mental status.
  • It mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
Black Fungus UPSC | What is Mucormycosis | Symptoms | Causes | Treatment
Black Fungus UPSC | What is Mucormycosis | Symptoms | Causes |

Types of Mucormycosis:

Type  Details 
Rhinocerebral (Sinus and Brain) Mucormycosis
  • It is an infection in the sinuses that can spread to the brain.
  • It is the most common in people with uncontrolled diabetes and in people who have had a kidney transplant.
Pulmonary (Lung) Mucormycosis
  • It is the most common type of mucormycosis in people with cancer and in people who have had an organ transplant or a stem cell transplant.
Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis
  • It is more common among young children than adults, especially premature and low birth weight infants less than 1 month of age, who have had antibiotics, surgery, or medications that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
Cutaneous (Skin) Mucormycosis
  • It occurs after the fungi enter the body through a break in the skin (for example, after surgery, a burn, or other types of skin trauma).
  • It is most common among people who do not have weakened immune systems.
Disseminated Mucormycosis
  • It occurs when the infection spreads through the bloodstream to affect another part of the body.
  • The infection most commonly affects the brain, but also can affect other organs such as the spleen, heart, and skin.

Transmission Or Spread Of Black Fungus

  • People can spread black fungus on coming in contact with the spores from the environment.
  • In case of the lung or sinus infection the person can be infected after inhaling the spores from the air.
  • A skin infection can occur after the fungus enters the skin through a scrape, burn, or other type of skin injury.
  • They are more common in soil than in air, and in summer and fall than in winter or spring.
  • These fungi are not harmful to most people but for people who have weakened immune systems, breathing in micromycetes spores can cause an infection
  • Mucormycosis does not spread between people or between people and animals.

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Symptoms Of Black Fungus Or Mucormycosis

  1. Pain and redness around eyes and/or nose
  2. Fever
  3. Headache
  4. Coughing
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Bloody vomits
  7. Altered mental status.

Prevention From Black Fungus

  • Cleaning and replacement of humidifiers (for those using Oxygen Concentrators)Sterile normal saline should be used in the humidifier Bottle.
  • Changed daily Masks should be disinfected/washed daily.
  • Those who are taking steroids should also keep checking their blood sugar levels.

 

 

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