The coronavirus has triggered cases of fungal infections in India.
The New York Post reports that the deadly Covid-19 virus is triggering a fungal infection, which could have a 50 percent chance of resulting in death. According to local reports, the outlet says the infection can also lead to blindness and the removal of the nose and jaw.
The infection is being named mucormycosis; the Gujarat Health Department issued an advisory about the condition, saying it has been found in Covid-19 patients in Ahmedabad and Rajkot. “Mucormycosis is a type of fungal disease which infects those with compromised immune system, and with other existing diseases, is a serious infection with a mortality rate of nearly 50 percent,” the advisory said, according to the Indian Express.
More than a dozen cases reported of the fungus by doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a major private facility in Delhi that treats people from across Southwest Asia, The New York Post reports. The infection is described as a black fungus that is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes, which exist in the environment. People who take medications that ward off germs or those who have health issues are more susceptible to the infection.
“The frequency with which we are witnessing the occurrence of COVID- triggered mucormycosis with high morbidity and mortality is alarming,” Dr. Manish Munjal, a senior otolaryngologist at the hospital, told the Indian Express. “Early clinical suspicion on symptoms such as nose obstruction, swelling in the eye or cheeks, and black dry crusts in the nose should immediately prompt a biopsy and start of the antifungal therapy as early as possible,” he added.
According to the report, some of the symptoms include pain, face numbness, nasal obstruction, and swelling of the eyes. If the infection reaches the lungs, symptoms may include fever, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath, the outlet reports. Doctors say the skin mucormycosis may look like blisters or ulcers and the infected area can turn black. Abdominal pain, vomiting and bleeding could be a sign of gastrointestinal mucormycosis.
Surgeons have removed the infection and placed patients in critical care support for more than two weeks with life-saving anti-fungal drugs. “Orbital involvement (the bony cavity that contains the eyeball) is a grave development in the course of this disease, and points not only towards the possibility of permanent loss of eyesight but life as well because brain involvement is the leading cause of death in mucormycosis,” Dr. Shaloo Bageja, a senior eye surgeon at the hospital, told the outlet.