NEW DELHI : Among reports of deadly fungal infections in recovering coronavirus patients leading to vision loss, the Center said on Tuesday that COVID-19 may be a mild disease with no symptoms or severe with complications like these that have not occurred. before.
ENT surgeons at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) here had reported seeing 13 cases of “COVID-19 triggered mucormycosis” in the past 15 days.
This alarming affliction, while rare, is not new. What’s new is COVID-19 triggers mucormycosis, they said Monday.
Black fungus or mucormycosis has long been a cause of disease and death in transplant patients, intensive care and immunodeficient individuals. However, it’s the rapid increase in the number of unsuspected recovering COVID-19 patients that is causing the serious concern, the SGRH said in a statement Monday.
“In the past 15 days, ENT surgeons have seen 13 cases of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis in over 50 percent of patients, with vision loss and necessary nose and jaw removal,” he said.
When asked to comment on the development, VK Paul, NITI Aayog (Health) member said at a press conference here: “Yes, we are aware of that. This is a fungal disease. Particularly in diabetics, even before COVID- 19, this was there. This is quite a devastating disease. There is a deep infection. The cure for this is not easy.
“As there is a well-rounded systemic spread in COVID-19, there is a depression in organ functioning, so when we get more information about COVID-19, some things have come to the fore … This is new information. that came to the fore. We have to be careful, “he said.
“While COVID-19 may be a mild disease by itself, it can be symptom-free or even be a serious disease with serious complications like this that haven’t occurred before,” the official added.
SGRH authorities had stated that mortality is currently observed in the range of 50% (five patients), with some deaths when there is brain involvement.
Doctors have had to perform these resections in about 10 patients in the past two weeks, with “about 50 percent having lost their sight permanently.” Five of these patients required intensive care support due to associated complications. There have also been five deaths so far in this subgroup, they said.
According to Manish Munjal, senior otolaryngologist surgeon, at the hospital, “The frequency with which we are seeing COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis with high morbidity and mortality has never been seen before and is shocking and alarming.”
Varun Rai, consultant ENT surgeon at SGRH, said: “Early clinical suspicion of symptoms such as obstruction of the nose, swelling of the eyes or cheeks and dry black crusts in the nose should immediately prompt conducting a biopsy in the OPD and start of antifungal therapy as soon as possible “.