What Is Mucormycosis?

 Mucormycosis is a rare infection. COVID-associated Mucormycosis is also known as a black fungus. 

Mucormycosis is caused by mucor mould, which is found in plants, soil, and decaying fruits and vegetables.

It can affect the sinus, lungs, and brain. 

Risk factors– People with comorbidity are prone to get mucormycosis infection. Most of the COVID patients are treated with steroids. The steroid reduces inflammation around the lungs but lowers immunity, also steroids increase blood sugar levels, creating risk for the COVID patients.

Types – 

Mucormycosis is of four types.

Pulmonary Mucormycosis – Pulmonary mucormycosis is also known as lung mucormycosis. Most commonly found in people with organ transplants and cancer patients.

Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis – This infection travels from the sinus to the brain. People with diabetes and other comorbidities are prone to this.

Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis – This is most common in young children. Premature infants and low birth weight infants, who are on antibiotics or exposed to surgery are preferred at higher risk to get gastrointestinal Mucormycosis.

Cutaneous or skin Mucormycosis – This is the most common Mucormycosis amongst all. Infection can be passed through the injured skin. That is post-surgery, ulcers, or burnt skin.

Symptoms

Pulmonary Mucormycosis – Fever, cough, breathlessness, and chest pain 

Rhino cerebral Mucormycosis – Fever, headache, one-sided facial swelling, nasal congestion, black lesions on the palate.

Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis – Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Cutaneous Mucormycosis – Blisters, ulcers, inflammation around the wound, and blackish discoloration of the infected area.

Treatment – Mucormycosis is a fungal infection, hence antifungal is the main line of treatment. Amphotericin B, Posaconazole is the preferred drug of choice for mucormycosis. 

In most cases, surgery needs to be done to remove the infectious tissue.

Prognosis – The prognosis of mucormycosis is very poor. And it depends upon the severity of the disease and the immunity of the person. 

The mortality rate of mucormycosis is around 50-70%. 

Complications of mucormycosis may be blindness, neurological disorders, and clotting of blood vessels.

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