What is a Black fungus or Mucormycosis infection in COVID-19 patients?

The country is already disturbed due to the second wave of COVID-19 and amidst the struggle, a new disease has started haunting the people. The growing cases of COVID-19 and the increased fatalities have left everyone horrified. 

Now the increasing cases of the Black fungal disease reported in many COVID-19 patients have escalated the stress of medical staff and the people.

The cases have increased two to three times in the COVID-19 patients and the patients who have recovered from it. States like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Bihar are witnessing a rise in such cases.

Amidst the fear of coronavirus, this fungus has also started increasing the death tolls and making the life of COVID-19 patients even more distressed.

The Black fungal disease is not new in the country. It has been there for a long time but the pandemic and the virus have made people more prone to catching the fungal infection. 

What is Black fungus?

Black fungus or mucormycosis is a deadly fungus that thrives on decaying organic matter such as rotten wood, leaves, or other organic wastes. The fungus lives in soil and it usually is a group of mold called micromycetes. 

The spores of fungus get transmitted through the air and when a COVID-19 infected patient or who is in the recovery stage inhales it gets infected by it.  

How does the Black fungus affect COVID-19 patients?

The black fungus infects the sinuses and if not provided early treatment it can infect the eye and the eyeball. The mortality rate of the fungus is 50% even after the treatment. The mucormycosis attacks the eyes, nose, brain, lungs, skin, and digestive system.

The fungus infects the patient when it comes in contact through the nose or blood of the patient. If left untreated the fungus can take the life of the patient. In some cases, eyeballs or infected parts of the body have to be removed to avoid further spreading of the fungus. 

Symptoms of Black fungus or Mucormycosis

Mucormycosis symptoms are very clear and can be easily identified with self-observation. If required ask a professional to observe the symptoms. These are the Mucormycosis symptoms:

  • Nasal or sinus Congestion
  • Bloody nasal discharge 
  • Swelling on one side of the face
  • Black lesions on the nose bridge or upper hard palate in the mouth
  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Numbness on face
  • Facial pain


If the early Mucormycosis symptoms are not diagnosed and treated the fungus may affect the eyes. Symptoms of black fungal infection in eyes:

  • Swelling in eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Bulged eyes
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Lack of movement in eyeballs

Treatment of Black fungus or Mucormycosis

Do not take steroids without proper medical advice as increased steroid intake can make your system more prone to fungal infection and the chances of infections increase drastically. 

If you are diabetic consult your doctor and make sure that your sugar level is in control. If the infection has spread too much then surgery is the only option.

The demand for Amphotericin-B has increased as it is crucial in mucormycosis treatment. 

Why are cases of Black Fungus increasing?

There are a lot of factors that are contributing to the increased number of cases and one of them is lower immunity. The air of metropolitan cities is polluted which provides an optimal condition for the fungus and allows it to grow more. 

The patient infected with COVID-19 has very low immunity and the immune system loses its fighting capacity and the fungus becomes lethal for the person. High intake of antiviral drugs and steroids further weakens the Immune system making it more vulnerable to this fungus. 

Does it affect every COVID patient?

The fungus is airborne and usually spreads through the air but it does not affect every COVID-19 patient. The patients whose immunity level is very low are at higher risk levels. 

The fungus is not contagious hence it cannot spread from one person to another. 

Who can get infected with the Black fungus?

People or COVID-19 infected patients who are more prone to fungus are:

  • HIV/AIDS patients 
  • High blood sugar or unidentified diabetes
  • Cancer patients
  • Organ or stem cell transplant
  • Long term steroid users
  • High drug intake
  • Hemochromatosis (increased level of iron in the blood)
  • Uneven acid levels in the body
  • Poor nutrition
  • Premature birth or underweight infants

The doctors state that they used to report a minimum of 1-2 cases of black fungal infection in a week but now the cases have drastically multiplied and they have to see 25-30 patients in a week suffering from this infection. Some hospitals in Gujarat are even creating a special ward for patients with black fungal infection. 

The fungus can be deadly if not treated on time and the treatment can cost up to 40,00,000 Indian rupees.

How to prevent  Black fungus or Mucormycosis?

The best way to prevent the Black fungal infection is by wearing a mask. Even if you have recovered from COVID-19 or got yourself vaccinated, wear a mask to avoid infection from this deadly virus. 

Ensure proper body hygiene and cleanliness around you as dirty environments serve as breeding grounds for such fungi. Wear covered clothes while gardening or when you are in a dirty or polluted area. 


The new fungus is putting more pressure on the already broken healthcare system but our panicking won’t help or improve the situation. Everyone should be aware of it, not scared of it. 

We can fight it by maintaining precautions and taking proper care and make sure that you consult the ENT expert if you observe any above symptoms.