Zygomycosis now called Mucormycosis is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called Mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment.
Mucormycetes are present throughout the environment, particularly in soil and in association with decaying organic matter, such as leaves, compost piles, and animal dung.1 They are more common in soil than in air, and in summer and fall than in winter or spring.
Most people come in contact with microscopic fungal spores every day, so it’s probably impossible to completely avoid coming in contact with Mucormycetes. These fungi aren’t harmful to most people.
However, for people who have weakened immune systems, breathing in Mucormycete spores can cause an infection in the lungs or sinuses which can spread to other parts of the body.
Zygomycosis now called Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury. However, it can occur in nearly any part of the body.
Types of Mucormycosis
Symptoms of rhinocerebral (sinus and brain) mucormycosis include:
- One-sided facial swelling
- Nasal or sinus congestion
- Black lesions on nasal bridge or upper inside of mouth that quickly become more severe
Symptoms of pulmonary (lung) mucormycosis include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Cutaneous (skin) mucormycosis
- Blisters or ulcers
- The infected area may turn black
- Pain, warmth
- Excessive redness, or swelling around a wound.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal mucormycosis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
These types of infections are also common after natural disasters, such as tornadoes or earthquakes, where people have open wounds that have become filled with soil or vegetative matter. Zygomycosis now called Murcormycosis can’t spread between people or between people and animals.
Treatment for Mucormycosis
Treatment consists of prompt and intensive antifungal drug therapy and surgery to remove the infected tissue. The prognosis varies vastly depending upon an individual patient’s state of health and circumstances.
Source: Wikipedia.com; www.cdc.gov