Symptoms of mucormycosis (black fungus) include headache, fever, pain under the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion, and partial loss of vision
Misuse of steroids is a major cause behind this infection, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday assured that his government will take all necessary steps and precautions to check cases of black fungus or mucormycosis in the city. The black fungus has been reported among Covid-19 patients, who have uncontrolled diabetes, or are given excessive steroids or immune-modulating drugs such as tocilizumab.
Dr Ajay Swaroop, chairman of the ENT department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that the infection is commonly seen in patients who have recovered from Covid-19 but have comorbidities such as diabetes, kidney or heart failure, or cancer.
According to Dr Swaroop, the use of steroids in the treatment of Covid-19 coupled with the fact that many coronavirus patients have diabetes could be one of the reasons for the rise in the number of black fungus cases again.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences' (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria also said misuse of steroids is a major cause behind mucormycosis or black fungus.
Black fungus, which can lead to blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and coughing blood, is strongly linked to diabetes. The fungal infection is caused by a group of molds known as mucormycetes present naturally in the environment.
Earlier this month, Niti Aayog member (health) V K Paul had ruled out an outbreak of Covid-triggered mucormycosis and said that the situation was being monitored.
In an advisory released on May 9, the Centre had said that mucormycosis may turn fatal if it is not taken care of. The fungal infection mainly affects people who are on medication that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens.
In Haryana, the black fungus has been declared a notified disease in the state. Now, if any cases of this disease are found, the doctors will have to report them to the concerned chief medical officer in the state.