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Covid-triggered black fungus cases on rise, doctors worried

Representational pic: Doctors have a new cause for worry as black fungus (mucormycisis) infections has surfaced in some patients after Covid-19 (Pic: Courtesy reuters.com)

Doctors have a new cause for worry as black fungus (mucormycisis) infections have started surfacing in some patients after Covid-19.

Dr Manish Munjal, senior ENT surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, said: "We are seeing a rise again in this dangerous fungal infection triggered by COVID-19. In the last two days, we have admitted six cases of mucormycisis. Last year, this deadly infection caused a high mortality with many patients suffering from the loss of eyesight and the removal of the nose and the jaw bone."

Doctors had seen an increase in black fungus cases in December last year, too, as 12 such cases were detected over 15 days. Symptoms of the disease are face numbness, nose obstructions on one side, swelling in eyes, or pain.

Dr Ajay Swaroop, the chairman of the ENT department at the hospital, said the use of steroids in the treatment of COVID-19 coupled with the fact that many coronavirus patients have diabetes could be one of the reasons for this rise in the number of black fungus cases again.

He said the infection is commonly seen in patients who have recovered from COVID-19 but have comorbidities such as diabetes, kidney or heart failure or cancer.

Black fungus or mucormycosis has been a cause of disease and death of patients in transplants, ICUs and immunodeficient patients since long but this link with Covid-19 appears to be a new development.