After the loss of one of the most prominent Egyptian actors, Samir Ghanem, rumours that he suffered from a disease known as ‘Black fungus’ started to surface. However, according to Al Masry Al Youm, the Egyptian Ministry of Health has denied the allegations and confirmed that no cases of black fungus have been reported in Egypt.
While there are no confirmed sources whether it is true or not, before we start panicking, it’s important to understand what black fungus is, what causes black fungus, the effects of having black fungus and how common it could be in Egypt. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about Black fungus.
What is the deadly ‘black fungus’ disease?
Black fungus disease, also known as mucormycosis, is a rare type of infection that occurs when a patient is exposed to a certain type of fungus: mucrormycetes. This fungus is usually found in leaves, soil, compost, and animal waste.
How is black fungus related to COVID-19?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, an outbreak of black fungus cases have been reported, especially in India’s second wave of COVID-19.
Scientists believe that because COVID-19 leads to a weakened immune system, it can leave patients at risk of developing a black fungus infection.
However, it is important to note that it is not contagious and cannot be spread from one person to another. Poor hygiene could possibly be a factor in the fungus developing in the environment and with COVID-19 weakening the immune system, affecting the patients, too. It has been reported that 90 patients who had recovered from COVID-19 died from black fungus in India due to their low immunity.
Causes of mucormycosis (black fungus) :
Mucormycosis is caused by exposure to mucormyetes. These organisms occur in:
- Piles of compost
- Rotting wood
By breathing in affected mold particles in the air, a person can get infected with black fungus. While this is a sinus exposure, it can also affect the following:
- Central nervous system
While these types of molds can naturally occur in the environment, not everyone exposed will get infected. However, there are certain conditions that can increase the risks of contracting this disease:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Recent organ transplant
Symptoms of mucormycosis (black fungus):
The symptoms of black fungus will vary depending on where the fungus is growing.
Symptoms of sinus and brain mucormycosis include:
- Facial swelling on one side only
- Nasal or sinus congestion
- Black patches above the nose or inside the mouth
Symptoms of lung mucormycosis include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms of Skin mucormycosis:
- Infected areas could turn black
Symptoms of gastrointestinal mucormycosis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
Risks of mucormycosis:
Mucormycosis is particularly dangerous because it spreads quickly throughout the body. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the lungs or the brain. This can cause:
- Brain infection
- Blood clots
How to prevent black fungus:
While it is impossible to prevent breathing in the mold particles, there are ways you can prevent being exposed to them:
- Avoid going to areas with dust or soil such as construction or excavation sites.
- Wear a mask when it’s dusty.
- Avoid infected waters.
- If your immune system is weak, stay away from activities such as gardening or construction.
- Wash any cuts or scrapes with soap and water immediately.
- Is the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?
- Why COVID-19 Causes Extreme Hair Loss for Women
- How Long Does Your Immunity Last After COVID-19?
Sources used in this article:
- mucormycosis – Healthline
- Where Mucormycosis Comes From – CDC
- Mucormycosis: What to Know – Web MD
- COVID-19 increases black fungus infection risk in India – Medical News Today
Rahet Bally is every mother’s support system, join the biggest community of moms in Egypt, save on your daily motherhood expenses with our Rahet Bally Discount Card, and get back in shape and eat clean with our tailored Rahet Bally’s Motherhood Fitness & Nutrition Program.