What is Black Fungus?
Black fungus disease or Mucormycosis is a severe but sporadic fungal infection that has suddenly become an epidemic in most parts of India. It is caused by a mold ‘mucormycetes’ present in the environment. The black fungus does not harm you until and unless it enters the body through skin burn, cuts, or other types of skin trauma. People with weaker immune systems and those who have diabetes are the ones who are getting infected from it the most.
How is Black Fungus related to COVID-19?
Black fungus is not a major threat to people with a healthy immune system. The cases of black fungus start appearing in patients who have recovered from severe COVID-19 infections. For treating severe COVID cases, doctors are using heavy doses of steroids and heavy covid-19 injections that are effective in treating COVID but they make the person’s immune system extremely weak.
In such patients, spores of mucormycetes easily enter their airways, lungs and cause infection. The fungus enters the eyes and brain through the nasal passage. In such cases, eyes are removed to prevent infection in the brain.
The black fungal infection turns from mild to severe in no time. It’s essential to detect the infection at the right time. Symptoms of black fungus accompany usual COVID or flu symptoms including:
- Runny nose and coughing
- Pain, redness, and swelling in the eye areas
- Eyelid loss and blurred vision
- Dark lesions around the nose
- Pain in chest
- Breathing difficulties
- Persistent Headache
- Sinus congestion
- Fatigue and nausea
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Blood in the stool
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Stomach ache
- Loss of eyesight
This infection can spread in the whole body through the blood and can damage the brain, heart, and spleen.
Black Fungus is commonly present in the environment. It grows on moist surfaces and on rotten soil, fruits, and vegetables. In healthy individuals, it does not cause any harm because the fungal spores can be swept away with the body sweat or if it enters the body, immune responses can kill them.
The cause of black fungal infection is the fungus ‘mucormycetes.’ The primary cause of sudden outburst of this disease is the misuse and overuse of steroids during the COVID treatment.
Diabetic, cancer, and HIV patients are at a higher risk of catching this infection.
The treatment for Black Fungus needs to be very quick as it spreads in no time.
The treatment includes medications like antifungal drugs if detected early. Otherwise, in most cases, surgery of the affected area is the only option in order to prevent further damage. In some cases, intravenous antifungal procedures are also done. People on heavy medications like steroids need to stop them as they promote fungal infection.
Black Fungus is a rare but fatal disease that majorly attacks people with weaker immune systems. Its outbreak during the COVID-19 pandemic has become a norm as COVID-19 recovered patients are more vulnerable because of a weaker immune response. This disease requires immediate diagnosis and treatment as it damages the body organs in no time. If not treated well and on time, it damages the brain, causing death.