Diabetologist cautions against fungus
- It is a serious infection. It is caused by a group of moulds known as mucormycetes present naturally in the environment.
- It mainly affects people who are on medication for health problems that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens.
- Sinuses or lungs of such individuals get affected after they inhale fungal spores from the air. Usually, mucormycetes does not pose a major threat to those with a healthy immune system.
What happens when one contracts it?
- Warning signs include pain and redness around the eyes or nose, with fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomits, and altered mental status.
- Sinusitis — nasal blockade or congestion, nasal discharge (blackish/bloody);
- Local pain on the cheek bone, one-sided facial pain, numbness or swelling;
- Blackish discoloration over bridge of nose/palate;
- Loosening of teeth, jaw involvement;
- Blurred or double vision with pain;
- Thrombosis, necrosis, skin lesion;
- Chest pain, pleural effusion, worsening of respiratory symptoms.
- It is a rare disease, however, some groups of people are more vulnerable than others.
- What predisposes patients is uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, prolonged ICU stay, and comorbidities — post transplant/malignancy, voriconazole therapy.
- It is advised to use masks if you are visiting dusty construction sites. Wear shoes, long trousers, long-sleeved shirts and gloves while handling soil (gardening), moss or manure. Maintain personal hygiene including a thorough scrub bath