August 10, 2022

Mucormycosis Symptoms: How to identify signs and symptoms of mucormycosis, aka black fungus infection in COVID cases? – Times of India

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While COVID-19 cases continue to rise in an unproportional manner across the country and a looming fear of a third wave exists, COVID-19 may not be the only calamity we are at the risk of facing.
As evident from hospitals across the country, cases of a mysterious infection, ‘black fungus’ affecting COVID patients is rising across states in India and causing many more complications.
Medically referred to as a fungal infection called mucormycosis, there have been over 200 such cases reported across Indian states.
Mucormycosis is considered to be a big, serious threat right now. While documented cases of the fungal infection are still rare, the ICMR has now issued guidelines that not only could it affect a lot of COVID patients in recovery, it could also become extremely fatal if left unchecked.
According to experts, the black fungal infection is caused by a group of moulds called ‘mucormycetes’, which is present in the air and causes complications when an ill patient inhales these, which then spreads into the sinus cavities, lungs and chest cavities.
Again, how exactly is the black fungus infection linked to COVID is yet undisclosed. However, some experts believe that a high dependency on steroids (used to treat inflammation in COVID cases), pre-existing comorbidities, such as diabetes may make a person suffering from COVID at a higher risk for catching mucormycosis as well.
As the black fungal infection spreads, the most characteristic feature is a facial deformity. However, some of the signs of the infection could also impair sensory and vital organs. Broadly speaking, here are some sharp signs and symptoms of identification:
The fungal infection could be primarily harmful when a patient inhales the fungal moulds and attacks the sinus cavities and nerves. This, in turn, causes a person to experience symptoms like persistent pain and headaches.
Changes to the eyes or vision distortion could also be warning signs of the infection spreading, experts warn. As the black fungi grows and spreads, vision can be distorted as well. Some people may also experience a sort of swelling in one eye, have hazy or poor vision, or develop bloodshot eyes.
Swelling, local pain on the cheekbone, or experiencing one-sided facial pain or sort of numbness could also be primary markers of the infection right now.
Apart from swelling, the fungal infection could also affect skin health and give rise to multiple lesions, necrosis like symptoms.
Since the fungal infection is known to make its way to the brain upon inhalation, doctors warn that critical symptoms like delirium, memory loss, neurological impairment, the altered mental state could be signs that a patient needs attention.
Facial distortion is the primary feature of the infection. In the most severe cases, the infection can result in the growth of black patches around the eyes, nose. In some cases, sporadic growth of the fungal infection can lead a person to lose his or her teeth or jaws.

(DISCLAIMER: Representational images used only)
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