Mexico records first death from mucormycosis, the ‘black fungus’ disease

A 34-year-old man died in Mexico City from mucormycosis, although the authorities rule out a relationship with COVID-19.

At the beginning of May, as India became the global epicenter of the pandemic with more than 400 thousand new cases daily, a disease related to COVID-19 drew worldwide attention: hundreds of patients recovered from the virus began to experience a picture with puffy eyes, darkening of the skin, fever Y headache.

The diagnosis referred mucormycosis, an unusual fungal disease mainly caused by fungi of the genus Mucor, a type of mold present in compost, nutrient-rich soils and decomposing organic matter such as remains of fruits, vegetables and other foods.

And although most people are exposed to contact with these fungi, mucormycosis is considered an opportunistic disease because it only attacks individuals with weakened immune systems as a result of chronic diseases such as diabetes, AIDS, some types of cancer or malnutrition.

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First case of death by black fungus in Mexico

A month later, Mexico registers its first death caused by black fungus. A 34-year-old man treated in a Mexico City hospital died on June 7 from a rhinocerebral mucormycosis.

Admitted for the first time for facial paralysis and severe headache on May 29 in the State of Mexico, the patient was transferred to the capital to undergo emergency surgery with the intention of removing affected ocular, nasal and oral tissue; however, the advance of the infection cost him his life.

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The first analyzes that tried to link the nearly 9 thousand cases of mucormycosis in India with COVID-19 reached a key finding: the steroid use (as the dexamethasone administered to patients with moderate COVID-19 to reduce inflammation) is fertile ground for the appearance of the black fungus.

And although the evidence that relates the coronavirus with mucormycosis is increasingly growing, health authorities in Mexico explained that the death was due to the patient suffering from diabetes for 12 years. Despite the man also falling ill with COVID-19 months ago, the government ruled out any link between the viral and fungal infection.

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