What are Black Fungus and its Symptoms and treatment?
Black Fungus Wiki: Black Fungus, is known as Mucormysis or COVID-associated mucormycosis. Black Fungus, is an aggressively infectious fungal infection that causes a nasal infection, which can destroy different vital organs such as the brain and the ears, nose, throat and mouth.
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection caused by fungi in the order Mucorales. Infections are commonly acquired through the soil, damp walls of old buildings, and so on.
The disease is often characterised by hyphae developing in and around blood vessels and can be potentially fatal in diabetics or highly immunocompromised people.
Mucormycosis may affect the maxilla in rare cases. The rich blood vessel supply of the maxillofacial areas typically prevents fungal infections, but more virulent fungi, such as those that cause mucormycosis, can often bypass this shield.
It is not contagious, but if not diagnosed early, it can be fatal. This disease established in patients after post-covid hospitalisation. In general, any mucormycosis has a 54% mortality rate.
The disease has mostly affected people in India, but it has also spread to Russia. Experts believe that the disease has emerged in India due to high rates of COVID infection and diabetes.
Corticosteroids are widely used to treat COVID-19 and reduce the damage caused by the body’s own immune response during coronavirus infection. They suppress the immune system and raise blood sugar levels in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients. It is thought that both these effects may contribute to cases of mucormycosis.
In May 2021, the Indian Council of Medical Research released guidelines for identifying and treating black fungus, and the Indian government declared it an “epidemic.” Declaring any disease an epidemic helps healthcare facilities in screening and reporting cases to the government.
On May 19, 2021, the Rajasthan government declared Black Fungus an epidemic for the first time. Arunaloke Chakrabarti’s computational model estimated a prevalence of 0.14 cases per 1000 people in India.
Symptoms of Rhinocerebral (sinus and brain) mucormycosis include:
- One-sided facial swelling
- Nasal or sinus congestion
- Black lesions on the nasal bridge or upper inside of the mouth that quickly become more severe
Symptoms of pulmonary (lung) mucormycosis include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms of gastrointestinal mucormycosis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
Treatment for Black Fungus
The primary therapy is an anti-fungal medicine known as ‘Amphotericin B,’ which is strictly administered under doctors supervision for a long time.
Amphotericin B is often provided for 4–6 weeks following the initial course of treatment to ensure complete eradication of the infection. Isavuconazole was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis.
Surgical treatment of the “fungus ball” is recommended following administration of “Amphotericin B” or “Posaconazole”. The disease must be closely monitored for any symptoms of reemergence.
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