April 18, 2024

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Mucormycosis: A new sequelae of COVID-19 patients in India

Mucormycosis: A new sequelae of COVID-19 patients in India


Mucormycosis: A new sequelae of COVID-19 patients in India.  Disfigurement, disability, and even death…

According to news from Zaobao, the Indian health department said that a fungal infection, known as mucormycosis (commonly known as “black mold”), has been found in some patients with new coronavirus pneumonia, which can cause disfigurement or even death.

Mucormycosis is caused by a mucor fungus that naturally exists in the environment. It is characterized by mycelium invading blood vessels, causing thrombosis and necrosis, and causing lesions in the nose, brain, digestive tract, and respiratory tract, which may lead to serious consequences.

Mucor exists in the soil, feces, grass and air and other environments. It grows well under conditions of high temperature, high humidity and poor ventilation. So it can be spread through air, dust and food.

Mucormycosis is a relatively rare disease and usually does not pose a major threat to people with normal immune systems. However, when the human immune system is weak, it will become an important cause of mucormycosis, such as leukemia, lymphoma, malnutrition, diabetes, uremia and other chronic diseases, and long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs, such as cytotoxic drugs and Corticosteroids, etc.


Mucormycosis: A new sequelae of COVID-19 patients in India

Pulmonary mucormycosis


Mucor mainly enters the human body through skin and mucous membrane junctions, respiratory tract, digestive tract, surgery, interventional treatment, or through broken skin, or after inhaling fungal spores, the infection can take root in the sinuses or lungs. Once in the human body, the fungus can also spread through the blood, thereby affecting other organs, such as the brain, eyes, spleen, and heart.

In the early stages of infection, patients often have nasal congestion or bleeding, swollen eyes, drooping eyelids, or blurred vision. Black patches may also appear on the skin around the nose.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated in a health statement issued on May 9 that fungal infections of mucormycosis can damage the sinuses or lungs. Patients who have been taking medication for a period of time or who have been treated for a long time in the intensive care unit (ICU) are particularly susceptible to infection. After infection, it can cause disability or even fatal.

According to local media reports, some Covid-19 patients infected with Mucor have lost their upper jaw or eyes.
Akshay Nair, an ophthalmologist in Mumbai, said: “Mucus is ubiquitous, widely found in the soil and air, and even in the nasal cavity and mucus of healthy people.”

According to the “India Express” report, in the state of Maharashtra where Mumbai is located, 200 patients with new coronavirus pneumonia contracted mucormycosis after recovery, and 8 of them died.

Mucor infections have also occurred in the capital Delhi and Gujarat. The Gujarat government has ordered 5,000 doses of the antifungal drug Amphotericin B to treat this disease.

According to the New York Times, Dr. VK Paul, the head of the New coronavirus Pneumonia Working Group in India, said at a press conference last week: “We have heard that in some areas, patients who have been infected or recovered from new coronavirus pneumonia will develop mucormycosis. But there has not been a large-scale outbreak. We are observing and monitoring.”

Paul believes that the increase in mucormycosis cases may be related to the use of steroids in hospitalized patients with new coronavirus pneumonia, because these drugs suppress the patient’s immune system.

Diabetes patients increase their risk of infection even before taking steroids.

Last month, Nair found dozens of patients infected with Mucor in Mumbai. Due to the overcrowding of the hospital, many of them suffer from diabetes and have recently recovered from the new coronavirus pneumonia. Due to a fungal infection, the eyes of 11 patients required surgical removal, because mucor can easily spread through the eyes to the brain.

Nair said: “Diabetes reduces the body’s immune defenses, and the COVID-19 virus will make it worse. The steroids that help fight the COVID-19 pneumonia are like fueling the fire.”

In addition, according to the New York Times, many families have to treat their family members who have contracted new coronavirus pneumonia at home, which means that they will be treated with drugs or oxygen under unsanitary conditions and may be exposed to mucor in the process.

Fungal infection is the latest complication of the nCOVID-19 epidemic in India. Experts warn that the scale of the epidemic in India is too large, and it will inevitably produce new mutated viruses and sequelae that have not been discovered in other countries or regions.




Mucormycosis: A new sequelae of COVID-19 patients in India

(source:internet, reference only)

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