Odisha has detected its first case of mucormycosis or 'black fungus' in a 71-year-old Covid-19 patient with a known history of uncontrolled diabetes. Niti Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul had said that mucormycosis cases were being found in coronavirus patients. Maharashtra, Gujarat has reported a rise in cases of the rare but potentially fatal infection.

What

  1. 'Black Fungus' is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces.
  2. Mucormycosis, to a large extent, is happening to people who have diabetes. It is very uncommon in those who are not diabetic.
  3. Cases of mucormycosis are causing blindness or other serious issues, health officials in Maharashtra and Gujarat said.
  4. This disease is not new but is on the rise among Covid patients because the use of steroids elevates sugar level and some medicines suppress the patients' immunity.
  5. The 'Black Fungus' is present in the environment and those with suppressed immunity or co- morbidities are more vulnerable to infection.
  6. Symptoms of mucormycosis include headache, fever, pain under the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion and partial loss of vision.
  7. Conditions like HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, mellitus cancers, organ transplant, long-term corticosteroid and immunosuppressive therapy increase the risk of this disease and the predisposing factor for most of the cases prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.