Lucknow: Three COVID-19 recovered patients in Meerut have been diagnosed with Mucormycosis or black fungus, a rare form of fungal infection that could affect vision and can be fatal if not diagnosed at the right time.
“All three of them were infected with Covid for some time and have been administered steroids to strengthen their lungs,” Dr Sandeep Garg, Nephrologist and Renal Transplant Physician said and added all of them are under observation and undergoing treatment.
Of the three patients, one is diabetic, another has a history of transplant while the third one is a normal patient.
“The fungus is majorly attacking people who are being given steroids or who are diabetic or have a history of chemotherapy or transplant, Dr Garg said.
“As per literature the recovery rate for this fungus is around 50 per cent and that too if it is diagnosed at an early stage” added Dr Garg.However, experts say that the first nine days after the coronavirus infection are very crucial.
“If there is a complaint of black fungus in the patient with the infection, then the risk of his life may increase. This fungus can damage the skin as well as the nose, lungs and brain,” Dr Suryakant, head of the respiratory department of King George Medical University, Lucknow, said.
Dr Suryakant further informed that black fungus is already present in air and land and as soon as a person with a weak immunity comes in contact with it, then there is a greater chance of him becoming vulnerable.
Longer the patient stays in the hospital the greater the risk. “The fungus first enters the body through the nose and then reaches the brain with blood from the lungs. The higher the infection, the more severe the symptoms,” he added.
One-sided facial pain, numbness or swelling, blackish discoloration over bridge of nose or palate, toothache, loosening of teeth, jaw involvement, blurred or double vision with pain; fever, skin lesion; thrombosis & necrosis (eschar), chest pain, pleural effusion, hemoptysis and worsening of respiratory symptoms are the symptoms of the fungal infection.
Mucormycosis treatment includes aggressive surgery or radical debridement and exenteration of effected or blind eye, long term follow-up along with anti-fungal medications. Apart from surgery, prolonged anti-fungal treatment plays a major role in curing the patient.