In this article we will look into recent outbreak of Mucormycosis Infection in Covid-19 patients. In between the ongoing pandemic, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital(SGRM) of Delhi reported few of the cases of Mucormycosis from patients who are either recovered or recovering from Covid-19 Disease. Last year, with the onset of Covid-19 cases, this black fungal infection causes many patients loose their eyesight. So basically Covid recovered patients are again pushed back to ICU and hospital wards.
Fungus are group of spore producing eukaryotic organisms which feeds mostly on Organic matter for its survival. Some of the examples includes molds, yeasts, mushrooms etc.
What is Mucormycosis ?
It is a rare serious fungal Infection caused by a group of molds called Mucormycetes. It initially affect Sinuses but can later spread to Brain as well. People who has severe health problems like High Diabetes or take medicines which lowers the body immune system are at great risk of getting this Infection. More on CDC Official Page.
Which Covid-19 Patients are Mostly Affected
Patients who are having uncontrolled Diabetes and taking heavy dose of steroids to recuperate from Covid-19 complications are worst affected. All patients with low immunity level are specifically vulnerable to this disease. In fact, it has been a cause of disease and death for transplant and ICU patients for a long time.
How Mucormycosis Spread in Body
This disease is not contagious hence it cannot transmit between Humans and Animals. One can contract this infection by coming in contact with the fungal spores from the surrounding environment. If it is inhaled through Nose, then it can infect the Sinus and Lungs. It can also infect Skin by entering it through a scrape, burn, cut or through other types of Skin trauma.
Subsequently, it reaches to the Blood Stream and from there it can reach to Brain, Heart and Spleen. If it reaches brain, then it might cause meningitis. In Covid cases, it has been observed that the infection usually starts from the nose and spread to eyes. As the infection spreads, it paralyses muscles around the pupils of the eye, leading to blindness.
Symptoms of Mucormycosis
The Symptoms of Black Fungal Infection will depend on the location of the body it has infected and on the response of the immune system. In a typical case, below symptoms can be observed in a patient.
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling on one side of your face
- Sinus congestion
- Black lesions on the bridge of your nose or the inside of your mouth
- Belly pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Blood in your stool
How to Prevent Mucormycosis in Covid Recovered Patients
- Doctors should take care of the sugar levels after the patients are discharged.
- Always use Mask when going outside.
- Always wear shoes, long trousers, long sleeve shirts and gloves while handling soil (gardening), moss or manure.
- Maintain Personal hygiene and keep your surroundings clean.
- Avoid taking any unnecessary Steroids.
- Use clean, sterile water for humidifiers during oxygen therapy.
- Reach out to your doctor in case of any of the above given symptoms are observed.
How to Treat Black Fungal Infection
Medication needs to be given as per Doctor recommendation. Usually Antifungal medicines like amphotericin B, posaconazole, or isavuconazole are given based on prescription. In Covid cases, an anti-fungal intravenous injection which costs around 3,500 rupees ($48) a dose is the only drug effective against the disease. This has to be administered every day for up to eight weeks.
Which Indian States are Worst Affected
With the rising cases of Covid-19 patients, there is a sudden rise of mucormycosis patients are also observed. States like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi are worst affected states. Other states like Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan has also reported multiple cases.