The mucormycosis popularly called “Black Fungus” is an opportunistic infection that has existed in Mexico and the world for a long time, and that has a low frequency in our country, around 15 thousand cases in a period of 12 to 15 years, they reported specialists of the Faculty of Medicine of the UNAM.
At a virtual press conference, the doctor Edith Sánchez Paredes, a member of the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, explained that this disease is caused by fungi (mycosis), called Mucorales, the most common being Rhizopus, which normally does not harm and its spores are in the air or in food in the process of decomposition What fruits, vegetables, bread, tortillas, or meat.
He stressed that the most common route of infection is respiratory, but it can also be cutaneous or gastrointestinal, but that it is eliminated by the body itself, when there are no risk factors such as uncontrolled diabetes, cancer or prolonged use of steroids.
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It is not transmitted from person to person, they are fungi that are in the environment normally, we all have contact with them, but here the important thing is that if our immune system is responding appropriately we will not have a major problem, it will be eliminated ” , he detailed.
For her part, Dr. Laura Castañón Olivares, indicated that the relationship between the so-called “Black Fungus” and the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in India, is the high levels of diabetes in the population and the immunosuppression that the patient is faced with the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Another issue is that many of the patients who have pneumonia caused by the virus, among other things, are given anti-inflammatory treatment such as corticosteroids and this has two edges, one is that the anti-inflammatory reduces human defenses even more, consequently promoting the establishment of other infectious agents such as the case of Rhizopus, which causes mucormycosis, and on the other hand, it has also been seen that the administration of corticosteroids increases blood glucose ”, he stressed.
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The experts of the School of Medicine of the UNAM, added that in Mexico there are about three suspected cases of mucormycosis, associated with Covid-19, an infection that must be diagnosed and treated immediately with aggressive antifungal treatments, because the fungus is of rapid dissemination, and in a period one week can lead the patient to death, destroying tissues, nasal cavities, eyes and attacking the central nervous system.
It begins with the symptoms of inflammation in the face, eyelid problem, or some small lesions that are noticed on the palate, because immediately go to the doctor, generally when this disease occurs they are in patients who are practically in a state of health very serious, they are in the hospital or are unconscious due to the very high levels of glucose in their blood; It is difficult for a person that we see walking on the street to develop mucormycosis, ”said Dr. Sánchez Paredes.