Mucormycosis & Covid-19: A lethal companion

Mucormycosis & Covid-19: A lethal companion

Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused due to most recently discovered corona virus (SARS-CoV-2). Several studies have been published discussing the course of the disease, various treatment options available and possible complications that might arise due to the infection. One such major complication seen in COVID-19 patients is Mucormycosis or Black Fungus infection. Here we will discuss everything you need to know about Mucormycosis and why this infection alongside with Covid-19 can be lethal.

What is Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is a serious fungal infection, which typically occurs in patients with underlying medical problems and a weak immune system. The virus is commonly present in soil, animal dung, compost and other rotting things, and enters the body through open wounds or breathing. However, unlike covid-19, it is not contagious.

Why is it occurring in Covid-19 patients?

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid 19 disease hampers the immune system of the body and makes an individual more vulnerable to the infection. When steroid medicines/injections are used to treat Covid-19 patients, it sets up the stage for mucormycosis because while steroids reduce inflammation, they negatively affect the body’s ability to fight infection. Once the fungi enters into the body, it starts attacking the surrounding blood vessels and affects the skin, lungs, brain and sinuses.

What are common symptoms of Mucormycosis?

The symptoms depend on where in your body the fungi is germinating, that is- skin, lungs, sinuses, brain or gastrointestinal tract.

Skin-related black fungus symptoms include-

  • Ulcers
  • Swelling and redness over the skin
  • Black lesions on the inside of the mouth or bridge of the nose
  • Respiratory-related black fungus symptoms include-

  • Sinus congestion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Swelling over the face
  • Brain related black fungus symptoms include-

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • One sided facial pain
  • Blurred/double vision
  • Seizures
  • Gastrointestinal related black fungus symptoms include-

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in stool
  • How is Mucormycosis treated?

    Both oral and intravenous anti-fungal medicines may be used to treat the infection depending upon symptom severity. However, the key to successful management lies in early diagnosis, identification and reversal of underlying risk factors and prompt surgical debridement (if required).

    How to prevent Mucormycosis?

    While mucormycosis along with covid-19 can be fatal, there are a few things we can do to ensure prevention-

  • Always wear a facemask when you are at a place where there is lot of dust and soil, such as excavation and construction sites.
  • Wear proper shoes, long trousers, full sleeved t-shirts and gardening gloves when working out in garden or dealing with soil and manure.
  • People with weakened immune system (diabetic, cancer, or AIDS patients) should avoid activities like gardening and others that involve coming in contact with compost, dirt and dust.
  • Maintain good personal and hand hygiene.
  • Always use clean and sterile water for humidifiers during oxygen therapy. Avoid long-term use of steroid medications.
  • Disclaimer This blog solely intended for the educational/informational/awareness purposes and is not a substitute for any professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your doctor/healthcare professional before acting on the information provided on the blog. Reliance on any or all information provided in the blog, is solely at your own risk and responsibility. Mankind Pharma Limited shall not be held liable, in any circumstance whatsoever.

    Leave a Comment