What is Mucormycosis and Why is It Affecting Covid-19 Patients?

Mucormycosis and types

Saved from covid? Now save yourself from mucormycosis. Life just seems like a game of snakes and ladders these days. People are constantly living with a fear of death and doctors are even a step ahead. We are seeing patients die every single day, some patients recover, each has a different story to tell.

At Janvi hospital we see cases of corona daily. Lately, we are observing many cases of fungal infection mucormycosis so we thought of educating you in this regards.

What is mucormycosis?

To understand this we first need to know the different types of infections that our bodies handle. The infections are caused by germs or parasites. Germs include bacteria, virus and fungi. Protozoa is a type of parasite that leads to infection.

All these germs and parasites are present in our environment but when they enter our body and begin to destroy the cells/tissues in the body, illness is caused.

Mucormycosis is caused by fungus and hence it falls in the category of fungal infections. Fungal infections are treated with anti-fungal medications. Generally, they are used as cream or pills form but if the infection has spread and causes sepsis then intravenous injections are used. When any fungal infection aggregvates it causes sepsis and needs immediate medical attention.

What are the causes of mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is a type of fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. Mucormycetes like Mucorales, genera Rhizopus,  Mucor,  Rhizopus oryzae,  Lichtheimia,  Cunninghamella, Mortierella,  Saksenaea and  Apophysomyces cause mucormycosis. These mucromycetes are commonly found in:

  • Soil
  • Decomposing organic matter
  • Animal manure
  • Contaminated wound dressings
  • Tongue depressors
  • Electroplasts
  • Poor ventilation
  • Contaminated hospital equipment
Moldy Bread 1
Moly Bread
Dung
Dung
Tounge depressor
Tounge Depressor

How do the fungal spores in the environment enter the body?

Fungal spores generally enter the body through the air we breathe, can enter through the skin in case of an open wound, or grow in the intestine by eating contaminated food.

What does the fungus do once it enters the body?

When it goes inside the body it forms branch-like filaments and invades the blood vessels. This in turn causes blood clots, called thrombosis in medical terminology, leading to the death of the tissues present over there.

Which people are at risk of mucormycosis?

People with the following comorbidities are prone to mucormycosis. Fungal infection occurs once the fungus enters your body through the eyes, nose or skin.

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Organ transplant
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Neutropenia 
  • Long-term corticosteroid use
  • Injection drug use
  • Too much iron in the body (iron overload or hemochromatosis)
  • Skin injury due to surgery, burns, or wounds
  • Prematurity and low birthweight (for neonatal gastrointestinal mucormycosis)
  • Impaired immune system

What are the types of mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is classified into five parts depending on the body part that it affects.

Body partType of mucormycosis
Sinuses and brainrhinocerebral
lungspulmonary
Stomach and intestinegastrointestinal
Skincutaneous
WidespreadDisseminated

What are the symptoms of mucormycosis?

Depending on the type of fungal infection, the symptoms differ.

Symptoms of rhinocerebral (sinus and brain) mucormycosis include:

One-sided facial swelling

one side swelling in face

Headache

Headache

Nasal or sinus congestion

Sinus

Symptoms of pulmonary (lung) mucormycosis include:

Fever

Fever

Cough

Cough

Chest pain

chest pain

Excessive swelling around a wound

Exsessive Swelling around

Symptoms of gastrointestinal mucormycosis include:

Abdominal pain

Abdomonial Pain

Gastrointestinal bleeding

Gastational bleeding

Disseminated mucormycosis :

sickness

sickness

How is mucormycosis treated?

Often the infected part is removed surgically or else if the infection is fewer medicines like amphotericin B, posaconazole, or isavuconazole are administered. These medicines are given through a vein (amphotericin B, posaconazole, isavuconazole) or by mouth (posaconazole, isavuconazole). 

How can you prevent mucormycosis?

  • An impaired immune system can be a cause of mucormycosis. Try to increase immunity. This is precisely the reason why people are developing mucormycosis after recovering from the corona.
  • Stay away from dust, wear masks.
  • Wear gloves or long pants to prevent your body parts from touching the soil.
  • Clean wounds with soap and water if they are in touch with the soil.
  • If you ever had an organ or stem cell transplant then ask your doctor to give preventive medications.

Why is mucormycosis affecting covid-19 patients?

Corona affects the lungs and other organs of the body. It attacks the immune system of the body. Hence such people are more prone to fungal infections like mucormycosis.

We hope we have cleared all questions in your mind about mucormycosis. Do let us know in the comment section if you have any more questions, we will be happy to help.