The black fungus, also referred to as mucormycosis, is a rare infection that can be fatal in those with a weakened immune system. The fungal spores are commonly present in the air, soil, and decaying organic matter like leaves, compost piles, and rotten wood. It may enter the body through the nose, mouth, eyes and then advance to the sinuses, lungs, and brain. It can also occur on the skin after a burn, scrape, cut, or other skin trauma type.
This fungal infection may affect any person of any age group. As it is commonly present in the environment around us, it does not affect everyone. The impact is mainly on those with a compromised immune system wherein the body cannot fight off the body's external infectious agents. The following conditions may put you at risk for mucormycosis:
In patients afflicted with Covid19, steroid use was a part of the treatment that hampered the overall immunity of the patients and predisposed them towards black fungus.
The signs and symptoms will vary according to the part of the body that is affected with black fungus:
Black fungus is a non-contagious infection that does not spread from one person to another.
If the medical team suspects black fungus, then they would perform the following:
As soon as the black fungus is diagnosed, treatment with antifungal medications. The medicines are meant to destroy the fungus, cease the growth of the fungal infection, and stop the overall spread to other parts of the body. The antifungal medicines may be administered into the vein directly by inserting an intravenous catheter.Initially, high dosages may be given intravenously if the infection is more, and when the infection is under control, these medications may be administered in the form of pills. It is vital to note the side effects such as burning in the chest, pain in the stomach, and breathing problems and report to the doctor so that the treatment plan can be adjusted accordingly.If required, surgical intervention might be suggested to remove the infected tissue to prevent further infection. This may include the removal of eyes or parts of your nose.
The black fungus may complicate if timely treatment is not taken or if the infection spreads to the lungs or brain.
Black fungus is present in the environment and cannot be avoided entirely, but there are specific preventive measures that can be taken, especially if your immune system is weak: