As India battles the massive second wave of COVID-19, cases of deadly fungal infection- mucormycosis are also reported to be rising in recovered patients.
Delhi-based Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has also reported multiple cases of mucormycosis in recovering COVID patients. Cases of mucormycosis are on the rise in and around Morbi and around 300 people have been infected.
Similarly, cases of mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus, have also been reported from Gujarat among those who have recovered from Covid-19. The number of such cases has increased as Gujarat sees an unexpected surge in coronavirus cases.
It is reported that at least eight persons lost their eyesight in Surat due to mucormycosis (MM) after recovering from Covid-19. They had to be admitted to hospitals for the sudden loss of vision.
What is mucormycosis?
“We have recently seen a rare complication developing in patients, sometimes, during active COVID infection, but more commonly, weeks to months after recovery from COVID. It is a fungal infection called Mucormycosis. originating in the sinuses/nose/ teeth, with a potential to spread into the eye and even the brain. It is a rare, but very serious infection, which if not detected in time can be dangerous and life-threatening”, said Dr. Ritika Dhingra, founder of The luxe Clinique
Who is at risk of developing mucormycosis?
Anyone who has had a moderate to severe infection with COVID 19 can develop this complication, but the following groups of patients are especially at risk:
Persons who received steroids as a part of their treatment – Received immunomodulators eg Tocilizumab Diabetics, especially if long term/ uncontrolled, explained Dr. Dhingra.
Previously immunocompromised patients on cancer treatment/autoimmune conditions) Patients on steroids for other medical conditions.
How can you detect it early?
The following are some early symptoms, which you may miss / neglect reporting to your doctor assuming it is insignificant and menial, said Dr. Dhingra. Remember
- Unilateral facial Anesthesia/ pain
- Bulging eyes Blurred vision
- Nasal Congestion
- Double vision
- Black/ bloody nasal Discharge
- Drooping of eyelid
- Eye/eyelid swelling
- Tooth loosening
- Pus from tooth
If you develop ANY of these problems, see an Oculoplastic surgeon/ ENT surgeon/ dental surgeon (depending on your symptoms) at the earliest.
What can be done to prevent mucormycosis from developing?
“Currently there are no proven feasible measures for prevention. Early detection is the best bet. Some of the things advocated for prevention are: gargles and nasal douching with Betadine solution strict control of diabetes use of steroids ONLY on prescription by a physician. Curcumin – present in turmeric — is known to have some antifungal properties.”, Dr. Dhingra said.