Mucormycosis is causing a lot of worry and panic amongst all of us. Some of us have been unfortunate to have a family member, a friend, neighbor, acquitance (acquaintance) affected by the disease and we all agree that it is terrifying.
Lets know a few facts about this deadly disease and let me begin on a positive note that usually mucormycosis will not affect people with good immunity and its not contagious like covid19 infection.
What is mucomycosis (mucor) ?
It is a ubiquitous fungus , present in soil, air and our mucosa (soft inner lining of organs).
(Infection with mucor is known as mucormycosis)
Having said that, there are certain pre disposing conditions which lead to mucormycosis.
Healthy individuals are protected by their immunity against such infections
Mucormycosis has been around since a long time, and have been reported worldwide, but more in our country.
Uncontrolled diabetics were the usual / main victims.
In the present scenario with cases of severe covid 19 infection , patients need high dose steroids to control the inflammation. But that leads to immune suppression , coupled with high blood sugar levels (as covid itself causes hyperglycemic state). This leads to further suppression of immunity and the mucor gets an opportunity to affect the individual.
(Pl note that the steroids are very important treatment modality in severe cases of covid, often life saving)
In short , mucormycosis is an opportunistic infection raising its ugly head as the conditions become conductive for its growth in susceptible individuals.
Early detection and diagnosis are the key to treating this infection successfully.
Common symptoms being severe headache, stuffiness of the nose, double vision , inability to open the eye completely , black discoluration on the inside of the mouth, toothache, loose tooth to name a few.
But thinking that any red eye or headache is mucormycosis does not help anyone. So do not panic after you read about the symptoms of mucormycosis. And remember that while mucormycosis is a serious condition, if you are healthy , mucormycosis won’t dare to afflict you , rest assured.
So bottom line is keep up your immunity, by eating well, exercising regularly , maintaining hygiene, which includes usage of clean masks when outdoors or with people around , refrain from touching your masks once you put them on , positive mental attitude , and staying away rumors and false /fake breaking news.
© Dr. Jai Kelkar