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COVID-triggered 'black fungus' cases reported in Delhi; what's this 'dangerous' fungal infection?

COVID-triggered 'black fungus' cases reported in Delhi; what's this 'dangerous' fungal infection?

Six cases of this mucormycosis, a fungal infection caused due to COVID-19 were admitted in the last two days at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has reported a rise in the number of COVID-induced mucormycosis or black fungus cases. Senior ENT surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Dr Manish Munjal said that six cases of this infection were admitted in the last two days.

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection caused due to COVID-19. The infection, also known as black fungus, has led to both disease and death of patients in ICUs, transplants, and immunodeficient patients since long.

Dr Munjal said it is this infection that led to high mortality last year, adding that many patients suffered from loss of eyesight and also underwent removal of nose and the jaw bone.

"We are seeing a rise again in this dangerous fungal infection by COVID-19. In the last two days, we have admitted six cases of mucormycosis. Last year, this deadly infection caused high mortality with many patients suffering from loss of eyesight and removal of nose and jaw bone," Dr Munjal said.

Dr Munjal noted that early symptoms of this are nose obstruction, swelling in the eyes or cheeks and black crusts. He said if these symptoms are reported, a biopsy should be conducted immediately and antifungal therapy should be started as early as possible.

Chairman of the ENT department at the Delhi hospital, Dr Ajay Swaroop said one reason behind rising mucormycosis cases could be the use of steroids to treat COVID-19.

He said this infection is commonly reported in people who have recovered from COVID-19 but have other health conditions like diabetes, kidney or heart failure, or cancer.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with PTI inputs

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