After Coronavirus, Deadly Fungal Infection That Causes Blindness Hits Ahmedabad: 9 Dead, 44 Hospitalised

In the last 15-20 days, doctors at a leading private facility in Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad have found multiple cases in recovering coronavirus patients diagnosed with a deadly fungal infection i.e. mucormycosis.

In the last 15-20 days, doctors at a leading private facility in Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad have found multiple cases in recovering coronavirus patients diagnosed with a deadly fungal infection i.e. mucormycosis.

According to the India Today report, out of the 44 recent cases of mucormycosis in Ahmedabad, nine patients died.

What causes Mucormycosis fungal infection?

According to CDC, Mucormycosis (previously called zygomycosis) is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment.

Black Fungus or mucormycosis most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs. Some of the early symptoms are swelling in the eye or cheeks, and black dry crusts in the nose. If the fungal infection spreads to the brain, the patient can get meningitis.

ENT surgeons in Delhi have recently witnessed Covid-19-triggered mucormycosis in over 50 percent of patients, with loss of eyesight, and removal of nose and jaw bone.

Covid-19-triggered mucormycosis paralyses the muscles around the eye’s pupils as the infection progresses, leading to blindness.

Who is at risk?

It mainly affects people who have health problems or those who take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight sickness.

It has been a cause of disease and death of patients in transplants, and ICU and immunodeficient individuals for a long. However, it is the rapid increase in the numbers seen in unsuspected recovering Covid-19 is shocking and alarming.

Varun Rai, consultant ENT surgeon at SGRH 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”.

Cases of mucormycosis reported so far in India

Three days ago, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) had seen 13 cases of “COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis”. Mumbai had also reported such cases, and as per the India Today’s report, a total of 44 hospitalizations, including nine deaths, due to mucormycosis, were recorded by the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.

“The frequency with which we are witnessing the occurrence of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis with high morbidity and mortality has never been seen before and is shocking and alarming, said Dr. Manish Munjal, senior ENT surgeon, SGRH.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has tweeted and is concerned about mucormycosis cases rapid increase in recovering Covid-19 patients.

Dr. Bela Prajapki, head of ENT at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital told India Today TV that all the cases reported so far were of patients over 50 years of age and suffering from diabetes or other diseases.

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