Man left with rare flesh eating bug after catching common illness

A MAN had part of his face removed after he caught a rare flesh eating bug.

The 37-year-old from Iran caught the deadly fungal infection after a bad bout of Covid-19 weakened his immune system.

jmedicalcasereportsPlastic surgeons removed infected facial bones to stop the fungus spreading[/caption]

jmedicalcasereportsA picture of the man’s infected gums[/caption]

The Covid infection, which landed the unnamed man in hospital, left him with uncontrollable diabetes.

Several studies have linked the virus to diabetes, after scientists spotted a spike in cases of the potentially life-threatening condition.

The illness affects around five million people in the UK and means the body cannot properly process sugar or carbs from food.

People with the condition have to manage and control their blood sugar levels – some use medication and others adjust their diet.

When blood sugar levels are not controlled, people with diabetes can develop eye problems, gum disease and are more at risk to infections.

Just days after he was discharged, the man visited a dentist after he noticed his teeth were loose and gums were infected and oozing puss.

When the antibiotics prescribed failed to clear the infection the man was sent to hospital, where medics misdiagnosed him with a sinus infection.

According to the story published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports , the man was then referred to a gum infection expert – known as a periodontist – who discovered he had a flesh eating fungal infection known as mucormycosis.

Mucormycosis is rare condition that can kill those with weakened immune systems.

It is caused by common moulds found in soils, which when breathed in can attack the lungs and sinuses before spreading to the face, brain and other organs.

And if not caught early, mortality ranges from 46 per cent to 96 per cent depending on which organs are affected, according to US agency the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

Medics from the University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, later discovered the fungus has spread to bones in his face, including parts of his nasal cavity and mouth.

Plastic surgeons were forced to remove 12 teeth and the infected facial bones to stop the fungus spreading.

After the surgery the man was given antifungal medications and made a full recovery with no signs of reinfection, according to the authors.

The man is also due to have reconstructive surgery on his face, they added.

The authors said that dentists have a “crucial role” in early diagnosis of mucormycosis.

“And following severe forms of Covid-19, the presence of periodontal abscess with tooth mobility should be cautiously taken into consideration,” they concluded.

What are the symptoms of Mucormycosis?

The symptoms of mucormycosis depend on where in the body the fungus is growing.

According to the CDC symptoms of mucormycosis of the sinuses are:

One-sided facial swellingHeadacheNasal or sinus congestionBlack lesions on nasal bridge or upper inside of mouth that quickly become more severeFever