NEW DELHI : Among reports of a deadly fungal infection in recovery from coronavirus patients causing vision loss, the Center on Tuesday said COVID-19 can either be a mild disease with no symptoms or serious with complications like these that have not occurred before.
ORL surgeons at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) here reported that they had seen 13 cases of “COVID-19-triggered mucomycosis” in the last 15 days.
This alarming affliction, though rare, is not new. New is COVID-19 triggering mucomycosis, they said Monday.
Black fungus or mucormycosis has been a cause of disease and death of patients in transplants, and ICU and immunodeficient individuals have long been. However, it is the rapid increase in the numbers seen in unsuspected recovering COVID-19 patients that is causing the major concern, the SGRH said in a statement on Monday.
“In the last 15 days, ENT surgeons have seen 13 cases of COVID-19 triggered mucomycosis in more than 50 percent of patients, with vision loss and removal of nose and jaw bone necessary,” it said.
When asked to comment on the development, VK Paul, a member of NITI Aayog (Health) said in a press conference here, “Yes, we are aware (of that). This is a fungal disease. In diabetics in particular, even before COVID-19 , this was there.This is quite a devastating disease.It is a deep infection.The cure for this is not easy.
“Because there is a multifaceted systemic spread in COVID-19, there is a depression in organ functioning, so when we get more information about COVID-19, some things came up … This is new information that came up. We have to be careful,” he said.
“Although COVID-19 can be a mild disease in itself, it can be without any symptoms or even be a serious disease with serious complications like this that have not happened before,” the official added.
SGRH authorities said that currently mortality is around 50% (five patients), with some deaths when there is a brain involvement.
Doctors had to do these resections in about 10 patients over the past fortnight, and “about 50 percent lost their sight permanently.” Five of these patients required critical care support due to related complications. Five deaths have also been reported so far in this subgroup.
According to Manish Munjal, a senior ENT surgeon at the hospital, “The frequency with which we witness the appearance of COVID-19 triggered mucomycosis with high disease and mortality has never been seen before and is shocking and alarming.”
Varun Rai, a consultant ENT surgeon at SGRH said, “Early clinical suspicion of symptoms such as nasal obstruction, swelling in the eye or cheeks, and black dry crusts on the nose should immediately prompt the biopsy in the OPD and start antifungal therapy as soon as possible. at the earliest. “