Cases of mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus, have been reported from Gujarat among those who have recovered from Covid-19. The number of such cases has increased as Gujarat sees an exponential rise in coronavirus infections.
At least eight persons were reported to have 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.
In the past 15 days, Surat has reported at least 40 cases of mucormycosis or black fungus including eight who have lost their eyesight.
The infection, triggered by Covid-19, is treatable but if left untreated or if the treatment is delayed, the condition can lead to the loss of vision, and in some cases increase mortality.
WHAT IS MUCORMYCOSIS?
According to the US Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), mucormycosis or black fungus is a rare fungal infection. But mucormycosis (previously called zygomycosis) is a serious infection caused by a group of molds or fungi called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment.
It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air. It can also occur on the skin after a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury.
WHEN DO SYMPTOMS APPEAR?
The symptoms of mucormycosis or black fungus appear two-three days after a person has recovered from the Covid-19 infection.
This fungal infection first occurs in the sinus after the patient is cured of Covid-19 and in about two-four days, it invades the eyes, ENT specialist Dr Sanket Shah of Kiran Hospital in Surat explained.
In the next 24 hours, the black fungus can travel up to the brain.
WHO IS MORE VULNERABLE?
Dr Sanket Shah said the fungal infection attacks people with weak immunity. Among the worst affected are those with uncontrolled sugar levels (diabetic people) and people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body's ability to fight germs and sickness.
According to Dr Ajay Swaroop, the chairman of the ENT department at the Kiran Hospital, the infection is commonly seen in patients who have recovered from Covid-19 but have comorbidities such as diabetes, kidney or heart failure or cancer.
SYMPTOMS OF MUCORMYCOSIS AKA BLACK FUNGUS
Excruciating headache and redness in the eyes are two of the common symptoms of mucormycosis.