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Mucus and fungus -- an ugly combination. Especially if you have brittle diabetes that routinely makes your body fluids sweeter than wedding cake. In this sugary environment, tar-colored mold sends growing tendrils around the nerves, invading the sinus cavities and blood vessels with results you would only expect to see in gristly horror comics. Fungus balls in the lungs and head push out your eyeballs, and make your brain look like that hunk of moldy bread you once left under a wet towel for a school science project.

The treatment of Mucormycosis is almost as bad as the disease. Amphotericin B is cynically nick-named "shake and bake" since patients develop uncontrollable chills and fever during treatments that might go on for months. Even then you might consider yourself lucky -- 70% of patients typically die once the invasive fungus infection begins to penetrate the brain.

Mucormycosis tends to be a complication for people who are already sick -- AIDS patients, leukemia patients, transplant patients on immunosuppressive therapy. Even for these folks, thankfully, Mucormycosis is so rare that accurate statistics don't even exist. That headache and black drainage from your nose is more likely caused by irritation from a conventional sinus infection, although -- God knows -- that can be miserable enough.

Most of us are healthy enough to look at a hunk of moldy cheese without having to imagine our brains in the same condition. However, you might want to maintain a sliver of caution. Statistics show Mucormycosis infections rates may be rising, and Mucormycosis has been know to strike even healthy people at random -- particularly after catastrophic weather disasters. The Joplin tornado of 2011 caused over a dozen mucormycocis infections.

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