Many people suffering from COVID-19 have recently been afflicted with black fungus disease, also known as mucormycosis. The organism spreads through the sinuses and into the infraorbital and intracranial ranges. If the disease progresses unchecked, 50-80% of patients will die.
Fungi are most often seen in people’s kitchens when fruits rot or bread becomes moldy. Fungi have been around for 400 million years and play an important role on the planet. They have aided plants in their transition from marine to terrestrial environments, and they continue to assist them in obtaining minerals from the soil. Fungi decompose organic waste and recycle nutrients trapped in leaves and wood.
Though fungal diseases are widespread in plants, humans are only affected by a small percentage of them. The fact that animals, including humans, have developed complex immune systems is one cause.
When the immune system is weakened by another infection, however, otherwise harmless fungi take advantage of the situation and infiltrate human tissues. Opportunistic diseases are what they’re called. Despite this, fungi seldom cause life-threatening diseases, unlike their pathogenic bacterial counterparts. A few fungi, such as the Candida yeast, may sometimes initiate a severe infection. Candida can live on healthy people’s skin as well as inside their mouths, throats, and vaginal canals without causing any problems. It may cause oral thrush, diaper rash, and vaginal infections if the host’s body has been compromised by another disease or drugs.
Mucormycosis can occur when a patient’s immune system is weakened and they inhale Mucor spores. This is a rare, non-contagious disease that, if not treated promptly, may be serious or fatal. Mucormycosis infections have become more common in the last decade, owing to a rise in the number of organ transplants. People who have had organ transplants rely on immunosuppressive drugs to prevent their bodies from rejecting the new organs, but they are often vulnerable to infection in this condition.
Mucormycosis is more likely to occur in people who have COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, and other viral diseases, congenital bone marrow disease, extreme burns, tumors, and untreated or irregularly treated diabetes. Since steroids suppress the immune system, COVID-19 patients who have obtained steroids are particularly vulnerable. This is why, unless absolutely appropriate, steroids should not be used.
Mucor travels from the sinuses to the lungs, brain, and central nervous system as it attacks them. Fever, headache, reddish and swollen skin around the nose or eyes, facial pain, coughing up bloody or dark fluids, and shortness of breath are all common symptoms of mucormycosis. A tissue biopsy and an X-ray scan of the lungs are used to diagnose it.
Amphotericin B and posaconazole are the most common treatments for mucormycosis, provided the infection is detected early. However, the latter is difficult to achieve because there is no accurate diagnostic feature for mucormycosis.
Chance of contracting mucormycosis, we may take a few easy measures. The first step is to raise public awareness about the disease. Second, we must test the air in hospitals for the existence of spores on a regular basis, especially in critical care wards. Third, the humidifiers used for oxygen therapy must be sterile. Fourth, healing patients should be advised to stay indoors until their normal strength and immunity have returned. Fifth, patients who work in agriculture or gardening should be advised to take a break before the storm has passed.