Dozens of hospitals across India have started to report cases of Coronavirus patients being hit by a rare black fungus which has a mortality rate of about 50 per cent.
A number of severely ill Covid-19 patients are showing symptoms of Mucormycosis, an extremely rare fungal infection, which causes vital organs to rot, including the brain, lungs and sinuses.
According to a report earlier today in The Hindustan Times, one of India’s largest newspapers, the country’s governmental Council of Medical Research warned doctors in recent days to look out for symptoms, such as blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, toothache and loosening of teeth, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.
The fungus is usually found in decaying fruits and vegetables and certain soils, often at markets and in agricultural settings.
Surge since India’s Covid-19 crisis
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Mucormycosis was close to non-existent, with only a few known cases reported every year.
However, since Covid-19 spiralled out of control in India last month, hospitals and clinics have started to report multiple cases a day, according to The Indian Express newspaper today.
Some doctors have had to remove infected jaw bones, noses and eyes in order to save patients, namely to prevent the mucor from spreading to the brain.
“Mucormycosis is now playing absolute havoc. We are seeing four to five new patients every day and have around 35 patients still admitted,” Dr Prashant Rahate, the chairman of Seven Star Hospital in the city of Nagpur, told The Telegraph today.
The hospital has reportedly treated more black fungus patients than any other clinic in India.
According to data from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, black fungus has a mortality rate of around 50 per cent. Early diagnosis and treatment significantly improve survival chances.