Odisha discovered its first case of ‘black fungus’, also known as mucormycosis, in a 71-year-old Covid-19 patient with a known history of uncontrolled diabetes, PTI news agency reported. On Friday, Niti Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul has said that black fungus cases were being found in coronavirus patients. Maharashtra, Gujarat, reported an increase in the incidence of a rare but potentially fatal infection.
Let’s take a look at 10 facts about mucormycosis or black fungus infection:
1) “Black fungus” is caused by a fungus called mucor that occurs on damp surfaces.
2) Mucormycosis is most common in people with diabetes. This is very unusual for non-diabetics.
3) Cases of mucormycosis cause blindness or other serious problems, health officials in Maharashtra and Gujarat said.
4) This disease is not new, but it is on the rise among Covid patients as steroid raises sugar levels and certain medications suppress patients’ immunity, said Dr. Tatyarao Lahane, head of the state government’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research.
5) “Black Fungus” is present in the environment, and people with suppressed immune systems or underlying medical conditions are more vulnerable to infection.
6) Symptoms of mucormycosis include headache, fever, eye pain, nasal or sinus congestion, and partial vision loss, Dr. Lahan said.
7) The course of treatment includes injections for 21 days. The base price of injections is about ₹9,000per day.
8) This fungal infection was discovered during the first wave of the pandemic. Usually, a few weeks after the patient was discharged, said Dr. Hetal Marfatia, professor and head of the ENT department at the government-run KEM hospital in Mumbai.
9) An official statement from the Health and Family Welfare Department says that the situation is being monitored, and the state is offering treatment for mucormycosis.
10) Conditions such as HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, Mellitus cancer, organ transplantation, long-term corticosteroid, and immunosuppressive therapy increase the risk of this disease and are a predisposing factor for most cases before the COVID-19 pandemic.