Covid-related fatal fungal infection detected in patients; Delhi hospital reports 13 cases

Doctors from one of Delhi’s leading private facilities have found multiple cases of coronavirus patients recovering, diagnosed with a deadly fungal infection “triggered by COVID-19”, as a result of which nearly half of them have lost his sight, hospital authorities said Monday.

In the past 15 days, ENT surgeons at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) have seen 13 cases of “COVID-19 triggered mucormycosis”.

A rare but serious fungal infection, mucormycosis is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes, which can enter the body through the air (via fungal spores) or into the skin through a skin lesion. Mucormycosis cannot spread between people or between people and animals.

Black fungus or mucormycosis has long been a cause of disease and death in transplant patients, intensive care and immunodeficient individuals. However, it is the rapid increase in the number seen in unsuspected recovering COVID-19 patients that is causing the serious concern, the SGRH said in a statement.

“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.

Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or who take medicines that reduce the body’s ability to fight germs and disease. It is a rare fungal infection with a 50% mortality rate.

Symptoms include nasal discharge, abdominal pain, nosebleeds, restricted eye movement, and lung problems.

Sir Ganga Ram’s ENT and Eye team had to perform the resection procedure in about 10 patients in the past two weeks, with about 50% having lost their sight permanently.

Five of these patients required intensive care support due to other associated complications. So far, there have also been five unfortunate deaths in this subgroup, according to the official version of Ganga Ram Hospital.

According to experts, patients with Covid-19 are more susceptible to this virus, adding that it is present in the air. They say it is a ubiquitous fungus and is present in the plant, animal and air, but it is attacking cured covid patients because they have been given steroids and have comorbidities, which further worsens.

Before COVID-19 infection, mucormycosis takes about 15-30 days to spread, but after contracting COVID-19, it spreads within just 2-3 days.

Previously, a retinal and ocular trauma surgeon said that five cases of mucormycosis were detected in Ahmedabad. According to the report, two patients had already died while two surviving patients had lost their sight.