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Mucormycosis (Black Fungus)

31 May 2021

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that mainly affects people who have low immunity or on medication for other health problems that reduce their ability to fight environmental organisms. Sinuses or lungs of such individuals sometimes get affected after fungal spores are inhaled from the polluted air. In a rare instance, this can lead to serious complications that might also turn fatal.

SYMPTOMS
A. Facial swelling (usually on one side)
B. Nasal or Sinus Congestion
C. Headache
D. Black lesions on nasal bridge or inside of the mouth that quickly becomes more severe
E. Fever, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath
F.  Blisters or ulcer and blackening of the infected area
G. Pain or warmth or excessive redness around the wound
H. Nausea, vomiting, or gastrointestinal bleeding

RISK FACTORS
A. Uncontrolled diabetes, especially with diabetic ketoacidosis
B. Long term usage of steroids
C. Cancer
D. Organ transplant
E. Stem cell transplant
F.  Low number of white blood cells
G. Excessive iron in the body
H. Skin injury due to surgery, burns, or wounds

PREVENTION
A. If you have COVID symptoms, don’t take steroids without a doctor’s advice
B. Try to avoid dusty areas. Wear an N95 mask in case you cannot avoid going there
C. Avoid direct contact with water-damaged buildings and flood water
D. Wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when doing outdoor activities, such as gardening
E. Wear gloves when handling materials such as soil
F. Clean skin injuries well with soap and water

Sources: NHM, Assam

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