Deadly 'Black Fungus' in India
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.
- 'Black Fungus' is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces.
- Mucormycosis, to a large extent, is happening to people who have diabetes. It is very uncommon in those who are not diabetic.
- Cases of mucormycosis are causing blindness or other serious issues, health officials in Maharashtra and Gujarat said.
- 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.
- The 'Black Fungus' is present in the environment and those with suppressed immunity or co- morbidities are more vulnerable to infection.
- Symptoms of mucormycosis include headache, fever, pain under the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion and partial loss of vision.
- 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.