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Black Fungus: Everything You May Want to Know

Many hospitals have been reporting cases of black fungus or mucormycosis lately. What is this black fungus? Why it has come from? How fatal it is? How can it be prevented and managed? If you also have these questions keep on reading!

This article talks about the dreadful condition, its symptoms, causes, severity, and management.

Let’s dive in!

What is Black Fungus?

Black fungus or mucormycosis is a rare but severe fungal infection. It is commonly seen in people with a weakened immune system due to a health condition or medicines.

Anyone with this condition needs immediate treatment. If left unattended, it may be fatal.


While it can affect any part of your body, currently, it is seen to affect the throat, ear, nose, mouth, and lungs.

Some common respiratory symptoms of the condition include:

  • Cough

  • Headache

  • Sinus pain

  • Fever

  • Nasal congestion

Symptoms of brain and sinus involvement include:

  • Headache

  • Sinus or nasal congestion

  • One-sided facial swelling

  • Black lesions inside the mouth or on the nasal bridge

When it affects the skin, the symptoms are:

  • Blackened skin tissues

  • Fever

  • Swelling

  • Ulcers

  • Blisters

  • Redness

  • Tenderness


Black fungus is caused by mucor mold that is present in plants, soil, manure, and decaying vegetables and fruits. It is ubiquitous and is present even in the mucus of healthy people.

You may affect yourself by breathing spores from the air, which is known as pulmonary exposure.

In some cases, it may extend to other organs, especially if you are immunocompromised or diabetic.

Cause for the rising incidence

Steroids are extensively used in COVID-19 patients to prevent complications.

Doctors believe that the use of steroids modifies immune response, which may trigger the infection. Besides, steroids also elevate your blood sugar level, a risk factor for black fungus disease.


Black fungus is dangerous as it spreads quickly. If left unattended, it may spread extensively to cause:

  • Paralysis

  • Seizures

  • A brain infection

  • Pneumonia

  • Death

But is it fatal?

Well, yes, if not attended immediately. The mortality of patients with eye and brain infection (rhinocerebral) is about 30% -70% if it is not treated promptly.


Physical symptoms and examination aids in presumptive diagnosis. Additional tests such as MRI and CT scans may help to identify tissue destruction and the extent of infection.

There is no blood test to confirm the diagnosis, and may need a biopsy for the same.


The first line of treatment is intravenous antifungal medications namely Amphotericin B. You may also need surgical debridement of infected tissues.

Preventive Measures

Here are some measures that can protect you:

  • Wash your mask regularly and make sure it is dry to prevent moisture retention

  • Maintain personal hygiene and have a scrub bath

  • Wearing of mask or a face shield is strictly advised while working at a dusty construction site

  • Wear long trousers, shoes, gloves, sleeved shirts during gardening

  • For people with diabetes, manage your blood sugar levels, especially during and after COVID-19 infection.

Final Thoughts

Mucormycosis is a rare but severe fungal infection, which is commonly seen in COVID-19 patients. Its recovery depends on early diagnosis and management. Self-care is the key to prevent the condition, especially if you have a weak immune system.




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