You might have already heard about it, but Mucormycosis or Black Fungus is a serious and rare fungal infection that is affecting several coronavirus patients in India. The fungus enters the brain and is found in Covid-19 patients who suffer from uncontrolled diabetes. Prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay is also another reason why people are getting affecting by the black fungus.

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In Mumbai alone, The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) earlier informed that approximately 111 patients, all COVID-19 survivors, are undergoing treatment for the black fungus infection. Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana and Gujarat, Karnataka have also reported the occurrence of the fungus in Covid-19 patients.

The symptoms can include sinusitis, one-side facial pain or numbness, blackish discolouration over the bridge of the nose or palate, toothache, blurred or double vision with pain, skin lesion, thrombosis, chest pain and worsening respiratory symptoms.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Union health ministry released an evidence-based advisory for screening, diagnosis and management of the disease, and said that the fungal infection is mainly affecting patients who are on a prescription that diminishes their strength to fight environmental pathogens.

“Mucormycosis, if uncared for, may turn fatal. Sinuses or lungs of such individuals get affected after fungal spores are inhaled from the air,” read the advisory. The infection is caused by a group of fungi called mucormycetes which are present everywhere in the environment and are seen on rotting food as well.

The ICMR-health ministry advisory stated also stated that other risk factors for this disease include uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, prolonged ICU stay, malignancy and voriconazole therapy.

Patients’ blood glucose level should be monitored post-COVID discharge to prevent them from getting affected by this disease. Steroids should be used wisely and clean, disinfected water should be used in humidifiers during oxygen therapy. One must also take care of their intake of antibiotics and antifungal medicines.