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COVID-19 May Trigger Rare & Deadly Fungal Infection: Delhi Hosp

Updated
Coronavirus
2 min read
COVID-19 May Trigger Rare & Deadly Fungal Infection: Delhi Hosp

On Monday, 14 December, doctors from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) found 13 cases of “COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis".

Patients who were recovering from COVID were found to be diagnosed with a deadly fungal infection allegedly triggered by COVID-19 which made almost half the patients lose their eyesight, reported NDTV.

While mucormycosis isn't new, what is new is that COVID may be triggering it.

The hospital issued a statement which read,

“In the last 15 days, ENT surgeons have seen 13 cases of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis in over 50 per cent patients, with loss of eyesight, and removal of nose and jaw bone needed.”
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

What is Mucormycosis?

According to the CDC, mucormycosis is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of moulds which live in the environment called micromycetes.

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“Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury. However, it can occur in nearly any part of the body.”
CDC

It has long been a cause of death and disease in many patients in regular transplants, or ICUs and in immunodeficient people.

Mucormycosis & COVID: Suspected Link

What is worrying is the increase in mucormycosis in unsuspected recovering COVID-19 said SGRH.

The hospital added that mortality is currently being seen in the range of 50 per cent (five patients), with certain deaths when there is involvement of brain. “About 50 per cent lost their eyesight permanently,” and 5 of these patients required critical care support. There also have been five mortalities so far in this subgroup, the statement said.

“The frequency with which we are witnessing the occurrence of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis with high morbidity and mortality has never been seen before and is shocking and alarming.”
Manish Munjal, senior ENT surgeon,SGRH

Varun Rai, consultant ENT surgeon at SGRH added, "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 the conduct of a biopsy in the OPD and start of the antifungal therapy as early as possible".

This is a developing story, and more information is needed before we panic.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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