COVID-Triggered Mucormycosis Cases On The Rise: All You Need To Know About Black Fungus

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After Delhi, hospitals in Maharashtra and Gujarat said that they are seeing a rise in the number of Covid-triggered mucormycosis cases.

While Haryana has declared it a notified disease, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has given directions for setting up of special wards at 5 medical colleges in Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Indore and Rewa for the treatment of black fungus (mucormycosis).

Odisha too is examining the symptoms of the disease very closely.

But what is Black Fungus? We explore in detail:

What is Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection triggered by COVID-19. Black fungus or mucormycosis has been a cause of disease and death of patients in transplants, ICUs and immunodeficient patients for long.

Dr. Parul Sharma, Director Max (Delhi & Ggn) said the fungal infection mucormycosis is a side effect of steroid use for COVID-19 patients. Steroids are life-saving in covid patients when given at the right time for the right kind (moderate to severe) but a misuse of steroids is a major cause behind this infection (Mucormycosis). Chances of fungal infection increase.

Niti Aayog dismissed the reports that claim that Mucormycosis, a fungal infection is a “big outbreak” in the country.

Addressing a press conference last week, Paul said, “The fungal infection called mucormycosis is being found in patients of COVID-19 disease. It is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. It, to a large extent, is happening to people who have diabetes. It is very uncommon in those who are not diabetic. There is no big outbreak and we are monitoring it”.

ICMR issues advisory on ‘black fungus’; lists do’s and don’ts

DO’S

* Control hyperglycemia

* Monitor blood glucose level post COVID-19 discharge and also in diabetics

* Use steroid judiciously – correct timing, correct dose and duration

* Use clean, sterile water for humidifiers during oxygen therapy

* Use antibiotics/antifungals judiciously

DON’TS

* Do not miss warning signs and symptoms

* Do not consider all the cases with blocked nose as cases of bacterial sinusitis, particularly in the context of immunosuppression and/or COVID-19 patients on immunomodulators

* Do not hesitate to seek aggressive investigations, as appropriate (KOH staining & microscopy, culture, MALDITOF), for detecting fungal etiology

* Do not lose crucial time to initiate treatment for mucormycosis

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