Mucormycosis – Fungi in the News

Recent news reports have highlighted the potentially serious, and usually deadly, risk of the fungal disease known as mucormycocis. While Mucor refers to a specific genus of fungi with thousands of species included, the disease is not exclusively caused by the Mucor genus; other genus of fungi may be implicated.

Mucormycosis Risk

While mucormycosis is rare it is almost always deadly. The infection is usually associated with underlying conditions, most commonly uncontrolled diabetes, but other problems including certain cancers, burns, or any condition that suppresses the immune system, and/or which lowers the white blood cell count can predispose someone to the infection. In the earlier days of the HIV and AIDS epidemics, patients with advanced disease sometimes developed mucormycosis and the fatality rate was almost 100%. Outcomes for most anyone with the disease are generally poor and if survival is possible, the disfigurement common from the surgeries necessary to preserve life is permanent and pronounced.

Mucor 1

Rarely, otherwise healthy people have contracted mucormycosis after injury to the skin, usually with wooden splinters or other trauma associated with materials that are likely to be contaminated with rotting wood or other materials commonly encountered outdoors. Exposure can also occur through the inhalation of spores from rotting material encountered while gardening or working outdoors. More rarely, the fungus can be ingested with contaminated foods. The most recent cases involved children in pediatric intensive care units who were exposed through contaminated hospital linens.

Mucormycosis Symptoms

People with mucormycosis have different symptoms depending on where in the body the fungus is growing. Most commonly the sinuses and lungs are affected and symptoms from this type of infection often include fever, headache, and sinus pain. Lung infections with the fungus can cause fever and cough.

Mucormycosis that starts as a skin infection can look like blisters or ulcers, and the infected tissue may turn black. Other symptoms of a skin infection include fever and tenderness, pain, heat, excessive redness, or swelling around a wound.

Mucor 2

Anyone experiencing unusual symptoms, especially if underlying disease is present, while unlikely to be mucormycosis, should always consult a physician as soon as possible for a timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment, always the best defense against any disease, including the fortunately rare mucormycosis.

Mucormycosis Prevention Steps

Fortunately there are steps anyone can take to help reduce the risk of acquiring mucormycosis. For example, one should always wear protective clothing, such as gloves, pants and long-sleeved shirts, if handling decaying wood. Also, be sure to disinfect cuts and scrapes after contact with soil and decaying wood and remove items that are lodged under your skin, such as dirt or splinters.

Use of MoldStat Plus

In addition, the use of a product that can kill fungi such as those that cause mucormycosis can be used in the cleanup of potentially infected materials such as rotting wood or leaves. MoldStat Plus is just such a product! MoldStat Plus is EPA registered and proven to be effective against filamentous fungi like those that can cause mucormycosis. MoldStat Plus is highly concentrated so a little bit goes a long way. A dilute solution of MoldStat Plus could be sprayed over potentially contaminated material prior to clean up to help reduce the risk of exposure to fungi that might cause illness. Likewise, MoldStat Plus is safe and gentle enough to use for cleaning any environment in the house or garden. In fact, the active ingredients are commonly used in greenhouses so there is minimal risk to your plants and garden, and if used correctly, MoldStat Plus is safe for everyone in your household. You can even use MoldStat Plus in the laundry to clean potentially contaminated clothing or other materials. Give the MoldStat line of products a try today for all your mold removal and prevention needs as well as for general cleaning and disinfecting purposes.

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