The Telangana government on Thursday declared fungal infection mucormycosis as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. In recent days, there has been a surge in cases where COVID-19 patients contact the fungal infection. Previously called zygomycosis, it has also been dubbed as "black fungus" by many in India.
Mucormycosis is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes that live throughout the environment. While it is a serious condition, it had until last year been a rare one. According to the US CDC, it primarily affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. "It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air. It can also occur on the skin after a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury," the CDC website explains.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, mucormycosis cases have skyrocketed, being reported from various parts of the country. Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for example, is now reporting more than 20 cases of mucormycosis on a daily basis.
Further details awaited.