Doctors at a foremost private hospital in Delhi reported an alarming rise in the cases of "black fungus" or Mucormycisis in COVID-19 patients.
Black fungus or Mucormycosis, previously known to the medical sciences as zygomycosis is a fungal disease that is triggered by the COVID-19 virus. It is a rare yet serious disease caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes that lives throughout the environment. Mucormycosis mainly acts on people who have health problems and weak immunity making their bodies inefficient to fight against infectious germs and illnesses. This disease has been proved to be fatal for patients in transplants, ICUs, and immunodeficient patients.
The classical symptoms of this fungal infection are face numbness, nose obstructions on one side, swelling in the eyes, or pain.
"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 mucormycisis. Last year, this deadly infection caused high mortality with many patients suffering from the loss of eyesight and the removal of the nose and the jaw bone," says Dr. Manish Munjal, senior ENT surgeon at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He also added by saying that early treatment for the fungal disease after a prompt biopsy upon showing symptoms such as nose obstruction, swelling in the eyes or cheeks, and black crusts should be considered. [Also Read: Post-COVID Complications that Could be Fatal or Leave You Sick]
Another doctor from the same hospital, Dr. Ajay Swaroop, the chairman of the ENT department said that the use of steroids and underlying diabetes conditions in COVID-19 patients are the leading cause for the rise in the cases of black fungus.
He said that it is common in COVID-19 recovered patients who have underlying co-morbidities like diabetes, kidney or heart failure, or cancer.
"Use of steroids in the treatment of COVID infection, plus the fact that many Covid patients have diabetes as co-morbidity could be the reasons for a rise in the number of black fungus infections again. Covid patients with weak immunity are more prone to this deadly infection," Dr. Swaroop added.