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Black Fungus or Mucormycosis: another killer invading through nose or eyes


As the 2nd Covid wave is lashing India , in some parts they are also battling a new devastating and fatal disease Black Fungus or Mucormycosis ! 

An opportunistic invasive fungal infection ,starting in the nose traversing inwards into the sinuses , & sometimes invading the eyes & Brain! 

It is commonly seen in Post Covid patients , who have received steroids during their Covid 19 treatment regime , especially diabetics with poor Glycemic control in whom the this fungus got an opportunity to cut lose because of compromised immunity .

Common Symptoms of Mucormycosis

  1. Nasal stuffiness
  2. Discharge/ Bleeding from nose
  3. Facial pain / numbness
  4. Severe Headache .
  5. Palatal discoloration or ulcers .
  6. Redness of eyes , double vision or blurring 

Apart from causing significant morbidity and mortality , it has even caused blindness in some patients , there by leading to radical surgeries which involves removal of dead devitalised parts such palate or at times eyeballs to prevent its entry towards brain .

This has severely affected the morale of Mucormycosis affected patients .

Treatment involves early identification by Nasal Endoscopic examination  & If picked up  ,Early Sinus debidement surgery by an ENT surgeon and post surgery , aggressive medical management with Sugar control and antifungal Amphotericin Injections.

Black Fungus or Mucormycosis has started causing fear psychosis in patients of lately ,  as numbers of affected patients is increasing , nearly 2000 cases have been reported in Maharashtra.

Few days back there was a video going viral people dunking in Cow dung to prevent being affected with Black Fungus , such unsolicited measures can be more hazardous and highlights the phobia which has set in minds of masses .

In their attempt to be diagnosed early to have better outcomes and faster  recovery ,majority of.those coming for check if they are suffering from Black Fungus are already in the zone of fear 

The more the awareness of this dreaded disease is going on more are the number of patients experiencing Phantom symptoms

such as nose blockage , diminished facial sensation or pain , Headaches and Palatal colour changes .

Inspite of reassuring them after examination which includes a Nasal Endoscopic check ,that they do not have Mucormycosis, patients are still worried & anxious .

At times they are pleading for CT Scan or MRI of nose & sinuses, which is not required , as they are not in the high risk category and more so because they are perfectly normal .

High risk patients are those who recovering from Covid , especially diabetics who received steroids during the Covid 19 treatment and who have sugars more than 200, or those who received oxygen through nasal masks or canula's or were on ventilators .

These patients need to be more vigilant , and nowadays most Centres are subjecting them to examination of their nose by an endoscopy , to see if any crusts ,fungus or tissue distortion is seen which might be able to diagnose it in the early stage and accordingly to treat it aggressively before it causes havoc 

Finally all Sinus symptoms or colds are not necessarily  Mucormycosis ,they can be bacterial Sinusitis or just any other viral colds .

There is a fine line between caution & fear , try to stay calm and do not cross it .

- Dr Ajay Doiphode 

President Mumbai ENT Association 

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Nanavati Hospital

Head of Unit HBT Hospital

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