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by Kohnle D
(Zygomycosis)

Definition

Mucormycosis is a life-threatening fungal infection.

Causes

A group of fungi cause mucormycosis. They're in soil, decaying plants or wood, and compost piles. The fungi enter the body through cuts in the skin or by inhaling it into the sinuses and lungs. Once in the body, the fungi can spread fast.

In healthy people, the body removes the fungi before problems start.

Risk Factors

Your risk is highest if your immune system is weak. This can happen with:

Sinus Cavity
Sinus Infection
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Symptoms

Symptoms will depend where the infection starts. These may involve:

  • Fever
  • Facial pain
  • Swollen or protruding eyes
  • Redness of the skin over the sinuses
  • Cough—may be with blood
  • Breathing problems
  • Belly pain
  • Vomiting blood
  • Pain in the side between the upper belly and the back

A skin infection may start with blisters or sores around the skin wound. The skin tissue may later be tender, red, swollen, and turn black.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may also have:

Treatment

Care will start right away even without a confirmed diagnosis. Medicines will fight the fungal infection. Surgery removes dead tissue. The earlier care starts, the faster you can be healthy.

Prevention

The fungi are in many places, so they're hard to avoid. If you have a weak immune system, your doctor may give you medicines to prevent infection. Wash your hands regularly and avoid people who are sick.

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  https://www.cdc.gov 

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases  http://www.nfid.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Public Health Agency of Canada  https://www.canada.ca 

The Lung Association  https://www.lung.ca 

References

Mucormycosis. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/mucormycosis/index.html. Updated December 30, 2015. Accessed May 22, 2018.

Mucormycosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114052/Mucormycosis  . Updated August 12, 2016. Accessed May 22, 2018.

Mucormycosis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/fungi/mucormycosis. Updated November 2017. Accessed May 22, 2018.

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