Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], May 15 (ANI): A case of mucormycosis in which the patient had recovered from COVID-19 in late April has been reported at Max Hospital in Dehradun, said Uttarakhand Health secretary in-charge Pankaj Pandey.
He further informed that two other patients with similar symptoms have already been discharged from the hospital after being treated.
Three patients at Doon Hospital as well as in Max Hospital in Dehradun have shown symptoms of the disease, stated Pandey.
The Health Secretary stated that he has sought recommendation from technical committee constituted under the chairmanship of HNB Medical University Vice Chancellor Dr Hem Chandra, for prevention of the post-COVID complication.
As per the Union Health Ministry, Mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by fungal infection. People catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma.
The disease is being detected among patients who are recovering or have recovered from COVID-19. Moreover, anyone who is diabetic and whose immune system is not functioning well needs to be on the guard against this, said the ministry.
It further stated that the disease is caused by a set of micro-organisms known as mucormycetes, which are present naturally in the environment, seen mostly in soil and in decaying organic matter like leaves, compost and piles.
In normal course, our body's immune system successfully fights such fungal infections. However, we know that COVID-19 affects our immune system, informed the ministry.
It stated that the treatment of COVID-19 patients involves intake of drugs like dexamethasone, which suppress our immune system response. Due to these factors, COVID-19 patients face a renewed risk of failing the battle against attacks mounted by organisms such as mucormycetes.
In addition, COVID patients undergoing oxygen therapy in ICU, where humidifier is used, are prone to fungal infection because of exposure to moisture, the ministry said.
But this does not mean that every COVID patient will get infected by Mucormycosis. The disease is uncommon in those not having diabetes but can be fatal if not treated promptly. Chances of recovery depend upon early diagnosis and treatment, it said.
According to the Union Health Ministry, while the infection may just begin with a skin infection, it can spread to other parts of the body. Treatment involves surgically removing all dead and infected tissue.
In some patients, this may result in loss of upper jaw or sometimes even the eye. Cure may also involve a 4-6 weeks course of intravenous anti-fungal therapy. Since it affects various parts of the body, treatment requires a team of microbiologists, internal medicine specialists, intensivist neurologists, ENT specialists, ophthalmologists, dentists, surgeons and others, it added. (ANI)