Doctors in Delhi have reported an increase in the cases of Mucormycosis or Black Fungus triggered by the COVID-19 contagion.
Mucormycosis is a rare fungal infection that is triggered by COVID-19 and is reported to occur in patients who are malnourished or have weakened immunity from an illness or health condition along with patients in ICUs or in transplants.
A senior ENT(Ear-Nose-Throat) surgeon from Delhi's Ganga Ram Hospital said that they are again witnessing a rise in cases of fungal infection in COVID patients or patients who have recently recovered from it.
"We are seeing a rise again in this dangerous fungal infection triggered by COVID-19. In the last two days, we have admitted six cases of mucormycosis. Last year, this deadly infection caused a high mortality with many patients suffering from the loss of eyesight and the removal of the nose and the jaw bone." said Dr. Manish Munjal, as reported by NDTV.
The doctor cautioned against the symptoms of black fungus such as swelling in eyes and cheek areas, nose obstruction, and black crusts in the nose and also suggested to immediately go for a biopsy and start anti-fungal treatment at the earliest.
The chairman of the hospital's ENT department said that certain steroids are used in the treatment of COVID-19 which in combination with the fact that many patients are diabetic ( have high blood sugar levels) could be one of the causes of a rise in the infections. He further added that patients who have recovered from COVID but have other underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney issues, heart issues or cancer are at greater risk of developing the fungal infection.
According to an India Today report, as many as eight persons have lost their eyesight in Gujarat's Surat due to the fungal infection after recovering from COVID. They had to be admitted to hospitals for the sudden loss of vision. Additionally, the report mentioned that at least 40 such cases have been reported in the last 15 days.
Taking cognisance of the matter, Niti Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul said that the fungal infection is common among those COVID-19 patients who are diabetic, assuring that there was no reason to panic. He also stated that the Union Health Ministry was monitoring the situation.
"The fungal infection called mucormycosis is being found in patients of COVID-19 disease. It is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. It, to a large extent, is happening to people who have diabetes. It is very uncommon in those who are not diabetic. There is no big outbreak and we are monitoring it," Paul said while addressing a press conference, reported LiveMint.
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