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Business News/ Science / Health/  'Black fungus' cases in Covid patients are rising, says AIIMS chief, warns against misuse of steroids

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Saturday said that mucormycosis, also known as 'black fungus', is not any new infection but the number of cases has increased due to Covid-19.

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria also warned against the spread of mucormycosis and recommended that with COVID-19 cases increasing, it's of paramount importance that protocols of infection control practices are followed at hospitals.

He said that misuse of steroids is a major cause behind the infection (Mucormycosis). Chances of fungal infection increase in the patients who are diabetic, COVID positive and are taking steroids. To prevent it, we should stop the misuse of steroids.

Mucormycosis, a rare but dangerous fungal infection, has now been found to be affecting some coronavirus patients.

He said,"This disease (Mucormycosis) can affect the face, infecting nose, orbit of eye, or brain, which can cause even vision loss. It can also spread to the lung."

"As COVID-19 cases are increasing, it's of paramount importance that we follow protocols of infection control practices at hospitals. It is been seen that secondary infections -- fungal & bacterial -- are causing more mortality," Dr Guleria further added.

Dr Suresh Kumar, MD LNJP Hospital said,"Steroid use must be reduced. If given to patient with O2 level over 90, black fungus is a possible side-effect. Early diagnosis critical. CT scan of face would detect this infection. Antifungal drug Amphotericin being used for treatment."

He also said,"Overuse, misuse & rampant use of steroids in COVID patients causes black fungus, also known as Mucormycosis. We have 4 patients here who also are diabetic. Quite often a patient dies due to black fungus instead of COVID-19."

The black fungus infection, also known as mucormycosis, is caused by a fungus called mucor.Recently, several states have flagged cases of COVID-triggered mucormycosis, especially among patients who are diabetic.\

Recently, several states have flagged cases of COVID-triggered mucormycosis, especially among patients who are diabetic.

In an advisory released on May 9, the Centre said mucormycosis may turn fatal if uncared for. It also said the fungal infection mainly affects people who are on medication that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens.

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Updated: 16 May 2021, 05:22 AM IST
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