After recovering from COVID-19, majority of patients started infecting from black fungus. But how to identify black fungus symptoms remained a tedious task as nobody was aware of it. In this post we are going to enclose some detail on black fungus symptoms and prevention.
What Is Black Fungus (Mucormycosis)?
The other name of black fungus is mucormycosis. Although, the fungal infection due to mucormycosis is rare, it can be lethal if goes untreated.
It’s mainly caused due to a group of molds molds or mucormycetes which generally affects skin, lungs, sinuses and brain.
In order to get an infection from black fungus, you can inhale its spores or come in contact with them in various things like compost piles, rotting bread or soil.
Who Can Be At Risk?
The infection from black fungus can happen at any stage in your life. But the infection occurs mainly if your immune system is too weak.
And this can happen either due to some medication you are taking or due to any of the below given health conditions like:
- Organ transplant
- Stem cell transplant
- HIV or AIDS
- Neutropenia (low white blood cell count)
- High levels of iron (hemochromatosis)
- Bad health due to from poor nutrition
- Long-term steroid use
- Injected drug use
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Uneven levels of acid in the body
The black fungus infection is more likely if you have recently got a wound, cut, burn or any other skin injury.
Recently, patients recovered from COVID-19 reported to have got the infection. Please note that the infection from mucormycosis is not contagious.
Black Fungus Symptoms
COVID-19 patients in India met a harrowing time when a number of patients reported to have infected with black fungus infection.
The infection due to this type of fungus is rare, but dangerous. Initially, it took time to know why black fungus infection was rising among COVID-19 patients.
It’s because infection due to black fungus mainly happens after you come in contact with its spores.
But later, it was revealed that such cases were rising mainly because of certain steroid medications were being used to treat COVID-19 patients.
Please note that Mucormycosis or black fungus symptoms may prove fatal if not treated within time.
People should also know how to prevent such an infection. In addition to this you should also be able to identify the signs and symptoms of black fungus and also why the infection from mucormycosis spread.
We have enclosed a list below so that you would be able to learn how to identify mucormycosis. This will obviously help you to stay protected from the infection.
Facial pain: The infected person will suffer from general soreness all over the face. There will also be a centralized pain around the cheekbone as well. These are the signs to suspect black fungus and mucormycosis fungal infection. The infection on face makes the person numb and develops swelling.
Nasal Blockage: Some common black fungus symptoms include congestion, clogging or Sinusitis of the nasal passage. If you experience all the above, it means you have got a black fungus and mucormycosis fungal infection. It’s advisable for you to keep checking any nasal discharge that looks black in color or if it gets tinged with blood.
Black Discolouration: The infected person will have to face some kind of black discolouration either at the bridge of the nose or inside the mouth palate. Well, these are the most viable black fungus symptoms that a normal person can detect. If so, this needs to be treated as early as possible to avoid any complication.
Tooth Pain: There are some other black fungus symptoms that you can detect easily. These include pain in tooth and jaw. There are cases where a person starts losing his teeth. For example, if you have noticed somewhat increased sensitivity in your teeth, you need to take medical advice.
Pulmonary Problems: There are a number of respiratory and pulmonary problems that arise after you got a mucormycosis infection. Some common symptoms that you need to monitor in such cases include haemoptysis (painful coughs), pleural effusion, and chest pain.
Other Symptoms: There are some other symptoms of black fungus that can prove beneficial in learning how to identify a mucormycosis infection basically include skin lesions, blood clots (thrombosis), high fever, blurred vision, etc.
In any case, the symptoms of mucormycosis depend on the specific area or part where the fungus is actually growing. In a nutshell, we have given below all the conditions that can lead to a mucormycosis infection.
- Blood in your stool
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Belly pain
- Black lesions
- Sinus infection
- Swelling on one side of your face
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
In addition to the above, if you are infected with the infection from black fungus, you will get some noticeable changes on your skin such that the area may look swollen, red or blistered. With time, it may also turn black to make you feel painful.
Once you get the infection, it can reach to other body parts through blood stream. This condition is also referred to disseminated mucormycosis.
Now, when this happens, the fungus starts affecting some vital organs like heart and spleen. There can be some more severe state where an infected person may find changes in his mental state or coma. This can also prove fatal as well.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Mucormycosis
If you suspect to have got a black fungus infection or thinking how how black fungus spread, you need to go to a doctor who will assess you physically and probably ask about your medical history.
During physical examination and having a detailed discussion, you have to tell him about contacting with fungal spores in any way.
For example, if you have been in touch with spoiled foods or other places where fungal growth was there, it may be a reason why you got the infection.
The most probable symptom for black fungus infection is to have a lung or sinus infection. In such cases, your doctor may take a sample of the fluid which is coming out from your nose or throat for testing in a lab.
He may also recommend a tissue biopsy where a small infected tissue is taken out for testing purpose.
There are some other tests that your doctor might ask including some imaging tests like MRI or CT scan. This will detect if the infection has actually spread to your brain and other body parts.
In case, you are diagnosed with mucormycosis, the treatment needs to start as early as possible. It generally starts with antifungal drugs.
In most cases, the following medications are prescribed by a doctor:
- Amphotericin B
In any case, it’s your duty to tell your doctor if you have side effects like pain in stomach, heartburn or troubled breathing. If this happens in any way, you will get a changed treatment.
There are times when the case goes severe. In such cases, your doctor will recommend to go for a surgery to remove the infected or dead tissue so as to stop the fungus from spreading to other body parts.
What Are Mucormycosis Complications and Outlook?
There are certain complications of mucormycosis which include:
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots or blocked vessels
If you are diagnosed mucormycosis infection, there is no point to delay the treatment as it can prove fatal.
As the black fungus infection is quite rare, mortality rate is not known. But as per an estimate, almost 50% people with mucormycosis lose their life.
Well, it largely depends which part of your body has actually got the infection. In general, the outlook goes better for those who have got a sinus infection than those who have got a brain or lung infection.
In general, you can’t avoid breathing in spores. Still, there are ways to manage the infection from mucormycosis.
You need to stay alert if you have certain medical conditions that raise the risk of developing an infection due to black fungus.
Please follow the below given points to stay safe from any sort of infection:
- Stay away from excessive dust or soil, especially excavation or construction sites. Always wear a face mask even if you have to be there due to any reason.
- Simply avoid drinking infected water.
- If you have a weak immune system, you are recommended to avoid some activities involving soil and dust. Always wash your hands once you enter your home from outside.
In case, you are detected with mucormycosis (black fungus), you need to take your medications as directed.