Black Fungus Detected In Covid-19 Survivors, Patients With Weak Immunity At Higher Risk

By | May 19, 2023

Black Fungus Detected In Covid-19 Survivors, Mucormycosis, a fungal infection, is becoming more common with covid-19 survivors, resulting in blindness, severe sickness, and even death in certain cases. According to some specialists, the expense of therapy for this ailment is also a source of concern.

What is Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is a broad word that refers to any fungal infection produced by several Zygomycetes genera. Phycomycosis is another word for the same thing that is used in medical and lay sources. Mucormycosis is a disease caused by fungi that are often present in the soil or environment. It is an acute, fast progressing, and occasionally deadly condition.

 These fungal infections are infrequently identified, although they do occur in individuals who are severely disabled (uncontrolled diabetics, immunocompromised patients) and occasionally in groups of people who have been harmed (often multiple injuries and penetrating injuries that are contaminated with soil and water from the environment).

Black Fungus

Those harmed in catastrophes such as tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes, when contaminated soil and water is inhaled, lodged in wounds, or simply driven into skin, mouth, eyes, and nose by the force of water, soil, or wind pressure, are among these victims. The sickness does not spread from one individual to another. 

People who originally survived the terrible tornadoes that rocked Joplin, Missouri, on May 23, 2011, developed a cluster of mucormycosis illnesses. Thirteen cases have been confirmed, all in people who have suffered serious wounds such as fractures, numerous wounds, penetrating injuries, or blunt trauma. Intensive care was necessary for 10 of the patients, and five of them died.

What causes Mucormycosis? 

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that few clinicians detect since the fungal sources are not easily contagious.

In most cases, an infection arises as a result of an uncommon event that brings the fungus into touch with damaged or compromised animal or human tissue.

Once established, however, the fungus may quickly expand in blood vessel walls, thereby reducing and cutting off blood flow to tissues and producing its own decomposing organic food source, resulting in extensive tissue damage.

Death will be the result if the fungus’s fulminant spread is not prevented.

Black Fungus Symptoms & Signs 

Mucormycosis is a fungus infection caused by the Zygomycetes class of fungi. These fungal infections are uncommon and usually arise in persons who are suffering from another chronic condition. Badly managed diabetes, impaired immune function owing to any reason, and burns or serious wounds are all circumstances that might predispose a person to get mucormycosis. 

The condition’s symptoms and indicators vary depending on whatever area of the body is affected, and might include:

  • Fever,
  • Headache,
  • Facial pain,
  • Swelling over the nose,
  • Facial swelling,
  • Eye swelling,
  • Cough,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Vomiting,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Flank pain,
  • Bloody vomit,
  • Skin ulceration,
  • Skin swelling,
  • Skin Redness,
  • Mental status changes,
  • Dark scabbing in the nose,
  • Visual problems,
  • Bloody sputum,
  • Abdominal distension,
  • Skin blisters, and
  • Coma.

What are the risk factors for Mucormycosis/ Black Fungus?

Any debilitating disease process, especially disorders that cause the impaired blood supply to tissue, is a risk factor for mucormycosis.

The patient with uncontrolled diabetes and foot ulcers is a classic example, as dirt or debris can quickly reach the damaged tissue.

Mucormycosis is more common in individuals with burns, malignancies, immunocompromised individuals, individuals who have had a splenectomy, and persons who have had wounds (typically serious) polluted with dirt or ambient water.

As a result, those who have been harmed in natural disasters are at a higher risk of contracting this illness as a group.

How do medical professionals diagnose Mucormycosis? 

The patient’s history, physical exam, and risk factors for a fungal infection are used to provide a presumptive diagnosis. It’s tough to make a clear diagnosis.

Although tests like CT and MRI can assist determine the number of infections or tissue loss, they are not specific for mucormycosis.

There is no reliable serological or blood testing. The fungus’ growth from a biopsy (tissue taken by surgical removal or endoscopes with biopsy instrument) of infected tissue, together with particular tissue stains looking for distinctive structural components, may help identify the fungus and aid in the ultimate diagnosis.

Treatment of Black Fungus

Mucormycosis treatment must be swift and vigorous. The need for haste arises from the fact that by the time a tentative diagnosis is obtained, the patient has typically suffered considerable tissue damage that is irreversible.

The majority of individuals will require surgery as well as medicinal therapy.

The patient is likely to die without intensive surgical debridement of the diseased region, according to most infectious disease experts. 

  • Medications are very crucial. Antifungal drugs to reduce or stop the fungal spread, as well as treatments to treat any severe underlying conditions, are both sought at the same time.
  • For antifungal therapy, amphotericin B (first intravenous) is the medication of choice.
  • Posaconazole or isavuconazole may also be used to treat mucormycosis. 
  • Patients with underlying illnesses, such as diabetes, require excellent diabetic control.
  • Because steroids and deferoxamine (Desferal; used to eliminate excess iron in the body) might promote the survival of fungus in the body, these drugs are likely to be discontinued in these patients.

What are the complications of Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis has major problems that are connected to the body location that was first infected, but they can also develop in other body locations since the fungus frequently travels to organs or tissues that directly contact or are near the diseased location.

As a result, significant problems, such as kidney failure, may ensue.

  • Blindness,
  • Meningitis,
  • Brain abscesses,
  • Osteomyelitis,
  • Pulmonary hemorrhages,
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhages,
  • Cavitary lesions in organs and eventually secondary bacterial infections, sepsis, and death.

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