Symptoms of Black Fungus Explained in the Wake of India’s Mucormycosis Epidemic
As infections have been spreading among the country’s COVID patients, Indian states have been asked to report all cases of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, to the country’s health department.
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that can be fatal. According to the BBC, doctors believe it is caused in part by the steroid drug used to treat certain COVID patients in India. Although steroids can help to alleviate COVID symptoms, they also reduce immune system function.
Mucormycosis should be classified as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, according to Lav Agarwal, a joint secretary in India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This will necessitate reporting any suspected or confirmed cases to the health department.
Black fungus infections, according to Agarwal, are “leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality among COVID-19 patients.”
As of early Friday morning, the states of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Chandigarh had declared mucormycosis an epidemic, according to the Times of India.
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection caused by mucormycetes. They can be present in soil and organic matter that has decomposed.
If people come into contact with the fungus’ spores, they may become infected. These fungi aren’t dangerous to most people, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but inhaling the spores can cause infection in people with compromised immune systems.
Mucormycosis symptoms vary depending on which part of the body is infected with the fungus.
Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is the name for an infection that affects the sinuses or the brain. This causes swelling on one side of the face, a headache, black lesions on the nose or on the inside of the mouth and a fever.
If it attacks the lungs, it is called pulmonary mucormycosis. Patients may experience symptoms such as fever, cough, chest pain and shortness of breath. It can also infect the skin, where it may cause the infected area to become black and swollen, and the stomach.
The CDC describes mucormycosis as “serious but rare” with an overall mortality rate of 54 percent, based on one study of 929 eligible cases. Mortality depends on underlying health conditions and the type of infection.
It can be treated using antifungal medicine. This is a brief summary.