What is Causing Black Fungal Infection in Certain COVID Survivors?

·1-min read

Over the past few days, we’ve been reading a lot of reports of a rare, but fatal fungal infection that is being detected among COVID survivors and recovering patients.

Mucormycosis, or the Black Fungal, infection is said to spread rapidly through the sinuses and lungs, leading to a loss of sight and, in certain instances, even affecting brain functions.

Sri Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi reported at least six cases of the Black Fungal infection on 6 May. Two days later on 8 May, Maharashtra reported that 200 such patients were being treated in the state, amongst whom at least eight lost their lives.

In Gujarat, which has reported at least 100 cases of mucormycosis so far, the government has announced separate wards in COVID hospitals to treat such patients.

While this sudden upsurge in cases of the infection is raising alarms, doctors say that it's not a new infection at all.

Although it’s not very common, Black Fungal infections have been detected among immunodeficient patients mostly. But what seems to be triggering this infection among certain COVID survivors now, is an injudicious, or perhaps, untimely use of steroids that are being used to treat COVID.

How exactly are steroids causing this infection? Which COVID patients are vulnerable and what symptoms do we need to watch out for in recovering patients? We take all our questions to Dr Aparna Mahajan, ENT Consultant at Fortis Hospital, Faridabad. Tune in!

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