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Delhi hospital reports cases of COVID-triggered mucormycosis, here’s all you need to know about it

Doctors at Delhi-based Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) have observed a rise in the number of COVID-triggered mucormycosis or black fungus cases.

Delhi hospital reports cases of COVID-triggered mucormycosis, here’s all you need to know about it Representational Image

New Delhi: Doctors at Delhi-based Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) have observed a rise in the number of COVID-triggered mucormycosis or black fungus cases.

Leading national news agency reported on Thursday (May 6, 2021) that Delhi doctors have been observing a spike in the number of COVID-triggered mucormycosis or black fungus cases in the hospitals. 

Earlier last year, the patients who reported COVID-triggered black fungal infection also complained about weaker eyesight. 

As per Dr Manish Munjal, a senior ENT surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH), the hospital has admitted six patients with mucormycosis infection in the last two days. 

“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 loss of eyesight, removal of nose and jaw bone," he said.

What is Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection triggered by coronavirus and has been a cause of disease and death of patients in transplants and ICUs. It is also called zygomycosis.

This fungal infection affects humans when their immunity system is weak. The infection affects the lungs and the sinuses. The fungus can also enter the body through open wounds or cuts.

“These fungi aren’t harmful to most people. However, for people who have weakened immune systems, breathing in mucormycosis spores can cause an infection in the lungs or sinuses which can spread to other parts of the body," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had said last year.

“Early recognition, diagnosis, and prompt administration of appropriate antifungal treatment are important for improving outcomes for patients with mucormycosis," the CDC had revealed.

How do people get Mucormycosis?

Dr Ajay Swaroop, Chairman, Department of ENT at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, “Use of steroids in treatment of coronavirus infection and the fact that many Covid-19 patients have diabetes as co-morbidity could be one of the reasons for this rise in black fungus cases again. Covid-19 infected patients with weak immunity are more prone to this deadly infection.”

How can one treat Mucormycosis?

Another ENT surgeon at SGRH, Varun Rai, said Early clinical suspicion on symptoms such as nose obstruction, swelling in the eye or cheeks, and black dry crusts in the nose should immediately prompt the conduct of a biopsy in the OPD and start of the antifungal therapy as early as possible."

Has any other Indian states have reported cases of Mucormycosis?

Other Indian cities like Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and Karnataka’s Bengaluru have also reported cases of Mucormycosis. Ove five patients reported cases of Mucormycosis in Ahmedabad, out of which two succumbed to the infection while two among the survivors lost their eyesight during the treatment.

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