Black mold: is it dangerous for Ukrainians? Doctor Komarovsky's answer

In India, there is an outbreak of mucormycosis or black mold. The disease is very difficult: people remove parts of the face. How to protect Ukrainians from infection, said Dr. Komarovsky

After the coronavirus pandemic, fungi began to attack people. An outbreak of a disease called mucormycosis has been reported in India. It is caused by spores of mucor fungi, which form the most common mold. Therefore, the people immediately dubbed the infection "black mold" or "black fungus". Previously, this disease was quite rare, but in India over the past month it was diagnosed in more than 10 thousand people. of people. Some Indian states have already declared an epidemic of this disease. Why has the fungus become dangerous for humans right now, can mucomycosis "get" to Ukraine and what precautions should be taken to avoid infection? Pediatrician Evgeny Komarovsky told about this on his YouTube channel.

What is mucomycosis and how is it dangerous?

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Each of us, at least several times in our lives, but met with black mold. Someone threw away 

threw away moldy bread, someone washed out the black spots of the fungus in the bathroom or in the kitchen. This mold is formed by mucorous fungi or mucoromycetes. It cannot be called safe for the body: the spores of this mold are very volatile, they can be easily inhaled, they come into contact with the skin and mucous membranes. In some cases, they cause a disease called mucoromycosis. It was he who was now diagnosed in India and they want to equate it with an epidemic.

Symptoms of mucomycosis at the first stage are quite harmless and similar to a mild respiratory infection. A person has a stuffy nose and a runny nose begins, swelling appears in one or both eyes, and the cheeks become slightly numb. If the disease is not "captured" in time, the spores of the fungus penetrate into the hematopoietic system, cry out for coma and death. Therefore, in some cases, doctors have to remove the patient's affected sinuses and even the eyes in order to avoid the penetration of the disease into the brain and body.

Why does mucomycosis appear now?

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This deadly disease in medicine is one of the rare. This is because, in the normal state of the body, mucormycosis is practically not dangerous for a person. A healthy immune system instantly recognizes fungal spores and immediately neutralizes them, not allowing them to travel through the internal organs. The main danger is black fungus for people with a suppressed immune system. First of all, for those who have HIV or AIDS. In addition, hormonal corticosteroids such as dexamethasone, which are now commonly prescribed as a treatment for COVID-19, suppress the immune system.

What factors contribute to the development of mucomycosis?

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It is the uncontrolled intake of dexamethasone and other hormonal steroids that Evgeny Komarovsky calls the main factor that could lead to an outbreak of the disease. These drugs do reduce the level of inflammation in the lungs, but at the same time they hit the immune system and increase blood sugar. Today, they are prescribed almost everywhere, just for safety net, and for a long time, the doctor emphasizes. It is not surprising that against this background, immunity falls and ceases to fight an external threat (in our case, with mucor mushrooms)

Evgeny Komarovsky names several more factors that can increase the risk of developing the disease. First of all, it is diabetes. Especially one that is not controlled by the patient in any way. “Take, for example, type 2 diabetes mellitus, which is associated with obesity. People live for years without knowing that they have it and do not receive normal treatment, ”the doctor emphasizes.

The next factor is cancer. The chemotherapy that patients receive also suppresses the immune system. Mucomycosis can easily develop in people after organ transplants or stem cell transplants. In addition, the disease poses a danger to people who have very reduced protein content (for example, due to fasting) or an increased level of iron in the blood (for example, due to taking iron-containing drugs).

How to protect yourself from infection with mucoromycosis?

Mucormycosis in India declared an epidemic (photo from open sources)

Yevgeny Komarovsky believes that in India there was a dangerous combination of several factors at once, which contributed to the infection of a large number of people. First of all, this is the coronavirus: the country has just survived the second wave of COVID-19 and is now preparing for the third. The uncontrolled use of corticosteroids, plus a low protein content (in India, a lot of people live on the verge of starvation) and has caused a real outbreak of mucomycosis.

Ukrainians should not panic, the doctor is sure. However, you need to carefully analyze your health status. If there obesity - to control the level of sugar in the blood. If iron levels are elevated, stop taking iron supplements. In no case should you take hormones on your own for the treatment and even more so for the prevention of coronavirus. And they are prescribed by a doctor - to make sure that this appointment is really vital for you.

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If a person has a combination of factors that potentiate the risk of developing the disease (for example, diagnosed diabetes, oncology or immunodeficiency) - it is important for a person to be careful and stay healthy meaning. Remember that there is a lot of mucor fungi in the soil and compost. Therefore, you should not delve into the country at the stage of recovery from COVID-19 or while taking medications that suppress the immune system. If there is nowhere to go, carry out all work with the ground in closed clothing, gloves and a respirator.

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