New Delhi: In the backdrop of the COVID crisis being witnessed all over the world, a hospital in Delhi city has reported around 13 cases of a rare fungal infection triggered by the novel Coronavirus in Patients.

The infection, according to the doctors at Sri Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) Delhi, has caused the loss of eyesight, removal of the nose and jaw bone and five people have died due to this infection. The black fungus infection Mucormycosis that occurs when you have a weakened immunity due to illness or health condition, which happens when one tests positive for COVID.

Quoting Dr Manish Munjal, Senior ENT surgeon at SGRH, a report by news agency PTI said that the frequency with which they are witnessing the occurrence of COVID triggered Mucormycosis with high morbidity and mortality is alarming.

“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 a biopsy and start of the antifungal therapy as early as possible,” Dr Manish was quoted further saying.

Earlier, Times of India reported that Ahmedabad has also reported cases of the infection (Mucormycosis) and they are commonly seen in COVID recovered patients with co-morbidities such as diabetes, or kidney/heart disease or cancer.

According to a report by another news organisation India Today, the city had registered at least 44 cases of Mucormycosis, out of which nine patients have died.

“We have recorded 20 per cent mortality (deaths of nine out of 46 patients) in the Mucormycosis infection so far. However, timely intervention can prevent complications,” Dr Devang Gupta, ENT surgeon at Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad was quoted in a report by ToI as saying.

“In the past 18 years, I have seen about 20-odd cases of the infection. But in the past nine months, we have seen 46 such instances. Mostly the patients are with lower immunity after recovery from COVID”

Similarly, SGRH saw five cases of the infection in one year but due to COVID, they are seeing bigger clusters of the fungal infection.

Quoting Dr Mala V Kaneria, a report by Firstpost said that infectious diseases consultant at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai who said that she has seen three cases of this fungal infection in Mumbai as well.

During a press conference, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog said, “This is a devastating disease, and the cure is not easy. We need to be cautious. This could be a mild disease but can also take a serious turn. This was there in the absence of Covid-19 as well.”

Meanwhile, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has tweeted about the disease requesting people to stay alert.

“According to experts, there has been an increased risk of Mucormycosis disease among people who have recovered from COVID, which has led to many deaths. In this disease, there is a risk of damage to many organs of the body including the brain. An alert for the disease has been issued in Mumbai and Ahmedabad,” the Rajasthan CM said in a tweet.

विशेषज्ञों के मुताबिक कोविड-19 से ठीक हुये लोगों में म्यूकोरमाइकोसिस बीमारी का खतरा बढ़ा है जिससे कई लोगों की मौत भी हुई है। इस बीमारी में दिमाग समेत शरीर के कई अंगों के खराब होने का खतरा है। मुंबई और अहमदाबाद में इस बीमारी का अलर्ट जारी किया गया है।.

Mucormycosis is an uncommon infection, which is caused by mold from the family called Mucorales. This fungus is present everywhere – in the atmosphere, ecosystem, soil, etc. The infection occurs mostly by inhalation where it enters the sinuses and the lungs or it can enter the body if a person has a burn, cut or abrasion on the skin. This fungal infection has always been around but has gained a lot of attention because of COVID. While fungal spores are present everywhere, immuno-competent patients (a person who has a healthy immune system) are not affected by them.

 

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