A leading private hospital in Delhi claimed its doctors are witnessing a rise in COVID19-triggered mucormycisis or black fungus cases.

“We are seeing a rise again in this dangerous fungal infection triggered by COVID-19. In the last two days, we have admitted six cases of mucormycisis,” said Dr Manish Munjal, a senior ENT surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi.

“Last year, this deadly infection caused a high mortality with many patients suffering from the loss of eyesight and the removal of the nose and the jaw bone,” he added.

Mucormycisis, a rare but serious fungal infection, is triggered by COVID19. However, doctors say the infection usually poses no serious threat to those with a healthy immune system.

The chairman of the ENT department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Dr Ajay Swaroop said the use of steroids in the treatment of COVID19 coupled with the fact that many Covid19 patients have diabetes could be one of the reasons for the rise in black fungus cases.

Dr Swaroop said the infection is commonly seen in patients who have recovered from COVID19 but have comorbidities such as diabetes, kidney or heart failure or cancer.

Dr Munjal said the COVID19 patients with a weak immunity are more prone to the deadly infection.

“Early clinical suspicion on symptoms such as nose obstruction, swelling in the eyes or cheeks and black crusts in the nose should immediately prompt a biopsy and start of antifungal therapy as early as possible, Dr Munjal said.

Earlier, Dr Rajeev Soman, consultant of infectious diseases at Jupiter Hospital had said, “Patients most vulnerable to mucormycosis are those who have been treated with steroids and other drugs for COVID-19, to reduce inflammation.”

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