With the surge of Covid-19 cases in India, we are also observing a rise in another deadly infection spreading rapidly after COVID-19 treatment in some cases. This newly discovered ‘fungal infection’ in the COVID-19 recovered patients is known as Mucormycosis or Black fungus.
This is a rare and deadly infection which occurs due to a pre-existing illness, weakness after COVID-19 recovery and other comorbidities. This is highly infecting the diabetes patients who were given steroids during their COVID-19 treatment, as stated by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Saturday.
So far, 200 cases of this infection have been reported in metro cities like Delhi, Pune and Ahmedabad and has been a cause of fatality for the patients. This infection’s fatality rate has now risen to 80% and is increasing. If not treated well at the right moment, it can take up a deadly form for the patients.
The root cause behind this infection is the mold groups of black fungus which are present anywhere in the environment- from soil to even your food. “But they are of low virulence and rarely cause infection”, said Guleria.
He also emphasised on keeping a check on the giving steroids to the COVID-19 patients and warned not to misuse them as it can have risky outcomes for the patients. Patients who were given immunomodulatory drugs like Tocilizumab and immunosuppression of steroids can cause a high risk of getting infected by Black fungus disease.
Symptoms of Mucormycosis (or) Black Fungus:
Sinus and Brain:
- Nasal or sinus congestion
- Distorted vision
- Loss of teeth or jaws
- Swelling on one side of the face
- Excessive redness
- Pain and swelling around the wound
- Blackish infected area
- Breathing Difficulty and shortness
- Cough and fever
- Chest pain
- Pain in abdomen
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
How to prevent Mucormycosis (or) Black Fungus?
- Gargling regularly can be very effective.
- Giving steroids to patients judiciously and under a physician’s supervision.
- Diabetes patients should be highly taken care of and their blood glucose level should be strictly controlled and kept in check.
- Keeping cleanliness around the patient is a must. The patients should be provided with clean drinking water.
- Any oral ulcer should be treated immediately.
The Centre has also issued advisory on management and treatment on Mucormycosis. Do not ignore these symptoms in a COVID-19 recovered patient and leave this untreated. Stay safe!