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In some states, a rare but serious fungal infection known as mucormycosis, also known as “black fungus,” is being detected relatively frequently among Covid-19 patients. The disease frequently manifests in the jaw, skin, and lungs, as well as the brain.
Mucormycosis (previously known as zygomycotic) is a serious but uncommon fungal infection caused by a class of moulds known as micromycetes. These moulds can be found all over the place.
Mucormycosis primarily affects people who have health problems or who take medications that reduce the body’s ability to fight germs and illness. After inhaling fungal spores from the air, it most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs. It may also appear on the skin following a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury.

Causes of Mucormycosis:

  1. Immune Compromisation: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with diabetes or undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, are at higher risk.
  2. Environmental Exposure: Inhalation of spores from the Mucorales fungi found in soil, decaying organic matter, and air.
  3. Underlying Health Conditions: Pre-existing health issues, including cancer and organ transplant, may increase susceptibility.

Signs and Symptoms: Recognizing the distinct signs and symptoms of mucormycosis is vital for prompt intervention:

  1. Sinus Infections: Facial pain, nasal congestion, and black discharge from the nose may occur in cases of sinus involvement.
  2. Pulmonary Involvement: Cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing in cases where the lungs are affected.
  3. Skin Lesions: Redness, swelling, and blackening of the skin, often at the site of injury or surgical wounds.

Diagnosis: Accurate diagnosis is crucial for tailoring appropriate interventions. Common diagnostic approaches include:

  1. Tissue Biopsy: Extraction and examination of tissue samples to identify the presence of Mucorales fungi.
  2. Imaging Studies: CT scans and MRIs may be employed to visualize the extent of infection and its impact on surrounding tissues.
  3. Cultural Tests: Culturing samples to isolate and identify the specific fungi causing the infection.

Treatment/Management: Effective management of mucormycosis involves a comprehensive and timely approach:

  1. Antifungal Medications: Intravenous administration of antifungal drugs, such as amphotericin B, is a primary treatment.
  2. Surgical Debridement: Removal of infected tissue to prevent further spread of the infection.
  3. Control Underlying Conditions: Managing diabetes or other underlying health issues to enhance immune response.
  4. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Supplemental oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber may aid in inhibiting fungal growth.
  5. Collaborative Care: Multidisciplinary care involving infectious disease specialists, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals.

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