It’s called the “black fungus,” and it can be deadly. It’s also adding to India’s growing COVID-19 woes at the moment.
On Sunday, the Indian Council of Medical Research and India’s Health Ministry issued an advisory calling for better awareness, screening and management of mucormycosis, a rare but dangerous fungal infection.
“While exact numbers are not available, we’re seeing a rise in cases in Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra,” says Dr. Aparna Mukherjee, a scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research and one of the experts who wrote the advisory.
The symptoms of mucormycosis are mild at first and can often be missed in the initial stages.
Dr. Ronak Shukla, an ear, nose and throat doctor assigned to COVID-19 care at the government-run LG Hospital in Ahmedabad, treated a 35-year-old male patient who recently recovered from COVID-19 after being administered oxygen for a week in the intensive care unit. Several days after recovering from COVID-19, the patient was back, complaining of an intense headache, pain in the sinus area and the right eye, blurred vision and swollen cheeks. An endoscopic examination revealed discoloration — a blackened area — around the nasal sinuses.
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