Photo: Pexels
Photo: Pexels

People in some parts of the world may be receiving COVID-19 vaccines at present, but the threat posed by the deadly virus is far from gone. India, as per data released by the Health Ministry, has reported far less cases over the last week, when compared against other nations leading the case tally. But while cases have dropped, the country is still contending with around 30,000 fresh cases daily. As such, any news of new diseases affecting patients is a matter of concern.

According to reports, doctors in Gujarat's Ahmedabad are now facing cases where COVID-19 patients and people who have recently recovered from the virus attack are now contending with mucormycosis. Some of these victims have died, while others have suffered vision loss and more.

The article also quotes an infectious disease specialist to add that there had been 19 cases of mucormycosis recorded in COVID-19 recovered patients over the past three months.

What is mucormycosis?

According to the CDC, Mucormycosis is a rare, but serious, group of molds called mucormycetes that live throughout the environment. Previously called zygomycosis, it primarily affects people who have health problems or 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. According to the CDC, it most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury. However, it can occur in nearly any part of the body.

Is mucormycosis fatal?

While there is no extensive database of mucormycosis patients, it is frequently a life-threatening 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.

How can mucormycosis be treated?

Mucormycosis needs to be treated with prescription antifungal medicine, usually amphotericin B, posaconazole, or isavuconazole. Often, surgery is needed to cut away the infected tissue.

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