Rajasthan declares black fungus an epidemic

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: May 19, 2021, 11:32 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in India Photograph:( AFP )

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Assam has also reported its first case of black fungus in a COVID-19 patient in the city of Guwahati.

Rajasthan has declared Mucormycosis as an epidemic with around a hundred black fungus patients in the state.

Assam has also reported its first case of black fungus in a COVID-19 patient in the city of Guwahati.

"We have got 48 patients of Mucormycosis admitted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Sixteen patients are waiting for hospitalisation. A group of ENT and eye surgeons are looking after the patients," Dr DS Rana, chairperson, Delhi Ganga Ram Hospital, said.

Mucormycosis or black fungus is a rare fungal infection. It is caused by a group of moulds called micromycetes. These moulds live throughout the environment. It is often seen in the form of blackish moulds. 

The black fungus affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs while it has been observed in recovered COVID-19 patients, it mostly affects immuno-compromised patients with diseases like diabetes, cancer and others.

According to the United States CDC, it is most common in diabetic patients. The symptoms include headaches to nasal congestion.

Patients typically have a stuffy and bleeding nose, swelling and pain in the eye, drooping of eyelids and often loss of vision.

If diagnosed late, it even has a mortality rate of around 50 per cent.

Prior to the pandemic, the infection was very rare but the sudden rise can be attributed to multiple factors including the use of steroids in COVID-19 patients. The black fungal infection may be being triggered by the use of steroids and exposure to wet surfaces also increases the chances of infection.

While the frequency of the fungal infection is on the rise during this second wave, one way to stall it by administering the right dose and duration of steroids.

When detected on time, it is often treated with an anti-fungal intravenous injection.

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