While breathing issues and weakness are some of the common post-coronavirus complications observed in patients, doctors in Mumbai have noticed a rare fungal infection, named as Mucormycosis in several patients.
This fungal infection most commonly affects sinuses or lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn, or other types of skin injury.
According to doctors, Mucormycosis causes blindness, organ dysfunction, loss of body tissue, and even death, if not treated in time.
In a report in Hindustan Times, the doctors told the daily that there is a gradual surge in Mucormycosis across Mumbai. For instance, a patient named Shaila Sonar, a resident of Dhule was diagnosed with coronavirus on August 1. After a few months of recovery, she complained of pain in her mouth and developed swelling.
By December, her conditions deteriorated, and then she got admitted to Global Hospital, Parel, on December 1. It was found, Sonar had Sinonasal Mucormycosis and surgery was the only option left. The daily, citing Dr Milind Navalakhe, a senior consultant ENT surgeon at the hospital, informed that the fungal infection had spread inside her mouth which infected her palate.
"To stop the spread of the infection, we had to partially remove the palate. Otherwise, it could have reached her brain and proved to be fatal," the doctor added.
The fungal infection disfigured Sonar's face and now she will require plastic surgery.
Another doctor, Dr Amol Patil, senior consultant, ENT, at Nanavati Hospital removed the eye of a 30-year-old patient to remove the fungus that had infected his sinus. Later, doctors implanted the eye back.
Mucormycosis is more common among people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body's ability to fight germs and sickness.
Dr Navalakhe added that in the past three months, around 50 recovered with low immunity, and conditions such as diabetes have been detected with the fungal infection.
A patient suffering from Mucormycosis has similar symptoms like cold or nasal block. According to doctors, initially, blackish discoloration on the inside of the nose and palate is seen. Therefore, it gets unnoticed to an advanced stage. And when the patients seek medical attention, it is already in the advanced stage called sinonasal mucormycosis.
Looking at the rising number of this rare fungal infection cases in Mumbai, the Global Hospital has now launched city's first Mucormycosis clinic for early diagnosis of the disease.