Mucormycosis, a fatal fungal disease outbreak has been making news in the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad even as the nation battles the novel coronavirus.
The rare infection has also resulted in eyesight loss for some people.
This month ENT surgeons at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) in the national capital have seen many cases of “Covid-triggered mucormycosis”.
Black Fungus or mucormycosis has been a cause of disease and death of patients in transplants, and ICU and immunodeficient individuals since long. However, it is the rapid increase in the numbers seen in unsuspected recovering COVID-19 patients that is causing the grave concern, the SGRH said in a statement.
“In the last 15 days, ENT surgeons have seen 13 cases of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis in over 50 per cent patients, with loss of eyesight, and removal of nose and jaw bone needed,” it said. Mortality is currently being seen in the range of 50 per cent (five patients), with certain deaths when there is involvement of the brain, the hospital authorities said.
According to the CDC, Mucormycosis is a rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes that mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. These molds live throughout the environment.
It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury. However, it can occur in nearly any part of the body.
The CDC also clarifies that Mucormycosis is not contagious. That means, it cannot transmit between people.