Photo: Pexels
Photo: Pexels

Till date, COVID-19 has affected nearly ten million people across India, with more than 1.44 lakh people perishing to the deadly disease. But while many have suffered a wide range of symptoms as they fought the virus, this might not be the only crisis COVID-19 patients have to deal with. In a rather alarming turn of events, doctors in Delhi have reported instances of "COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis"

This is not an isolated incident. According to another recent report, doctors in Gujarat's Ahmedabad also faced saw where COVID-19 patients and people who have recently recovered from the coronavirus are now contending with mucormycosis. Some of these victims have died, while others have suffered vision loss and more.

As per a PTI report, doctors at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have found multiple cases of fungal infection in recovering coronavirus patients. According to the hospital authorities, half of them have lost their eyesight. There have also been several mortalities. And while the disease itself is not new, they say that COVID-19 triggering mucormycosis is uncharted territory.

"In the last 15 days, ENT surgeons have seen 13 cases of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis in over 50 per cent patients, with loss of eyesight, and removal of nose and jaw bone needed," a statement from the hospital said.

What is mucormycosis?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, Mucormycosis is a rare, but serious, group of molds called mucormycetes that live throughout the environment. They primarily affects people with health problems or those who take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. COVID-19 patients, especially with those with heavy co-morbidities, are thus more vulnerable to the fungal infection.

The CDC website cites information from published mucormycosis cases to state that there is an overall all-cause mortality rate of 54%. The rate varies depending on the patient's underlying conditions as well as the type of fungus and body site affected.

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