• Mucormycosis



    Mucormycosis is an infection that can affect the sinuses, brain, lungs, and sometimes the skin. It is a serious infection that can be fatal.


    Mucormycosis is caused by a fungus that is often found in soil, decaying plants or wood, and compost piles. The fungus enters the body through cuts or scrapes in the skin or by being inhaled into the sinuses and airways. Once in the body, the fungus can spread rapidly and quickly become fatal.
    A healthy immune system can often manage the fungus and eliminate it before problems begin. However, the fungus can grow and cause severe damage if the body does not have a strong immune system.

    Risk Factors

    A weakened immune system increases your chance of mucormycosis. Conditions or treatments that weaken your immune system include:
    • Diabetic ketoacidosis—a complication of diabetes
    • HIV infection
    • Leukemia or lymphoma
    • Being the recipient of an organ transplant
    • Long-term steroid use
    • Treatment with deferoxamine—an antidote to iron poisoning
    • Metabolic acidosis—too much acid in the blood
    Chronic sinus infection can also increase your risk of mucormycosis.
    Sinus Cavity
    Sinus Infection
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    Symptoms will depend on the location of the infection. Inhaled mucormycosis may lead to:
    • Fever
    • Facial pain
    • Swollen or protruding eyes
    • Redness of the skin over the sinuses
    • Cough; occasionally coughing up blood
    • Shortness of breath
    • Abdominal pain
    • Vomiting blood
    • Pain in the side between the upper abdomen and the back
    An infection in the skin may start with blisters or sores around the skin wound. The skin tissue may later be tender, red, swollen, and turn black.


    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A sample of the infected tissue will be taken and examined in a lab.
    A CT scan or MRI scan may be done to look for damage to internal structures.


    Mucormycosis is a serious infection and requires aggressive treatment, including surgery to remove dead tissue. Early treatment can lead to better outcomes. Antifungal medication is started as soon as possible. It may be given as a pill or by IV.


    The fungus that causes this infection is found in many places. Avoiding contact with it is difficult.
    The best preventative step is to control or prevent the conditions that make you vulnerable to mucormycosis.


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

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


    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

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


    Mucormycosis. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/mucormycosis/index.html. Updated February 13, 2014. Accessed June 11, 2015.

    Radha S, Tameem T, et al. Gastric zygomycosis (mucormycosis). The Internet J Pathol. 2007;5(2).

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.