Woman died from black fungus in Kirkuk, says official

File – A general view of Kirkuk city

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A woman died from black fungus in Kirkuk city on Friday, a health official said.

Director of Health in Kirkuk Nabil Hamdi said a 55-year-old woman who had diabetes died from black fungus on Friday, according to Anadolu Agency.

The health directorate in Kirkuk has recorded six cases of black fungus in the province.

Four other cases and two deaths were reported in Dhi Qar province in June. An Iraqi man also died of the disease in Sulaimani province.

Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, is a fungal infection that causes blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.

The disease has a close link to diabetes, and conditions which compromise the immune system. Experts have said that an overuse during the COVID-19 pandemic of certain drugs which suppress the immune system could be causing the surge.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that mucormycosis has a mortality rate of 54%, which can vary depending on the condition of the patients and the body part affected.

The disease is not contagious, which means that it cannot spread from contact between humans or animals. But it does spread from fungal spores that are present in the air or in the environment, which are almost impossible to avoid.

Low oxygen, diabetes, high iron levels, immuno-suppression, coupled with several other factors including prolonged hospitalization with mechanical ventilators, creates an ideal milieu for contracting mucormycosis, researchers wrote in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, according to Reuters.

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