Indian variant: Spread of B.1.617.2 virus since March
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At least 90 people, who had recovered from Covid-19, have died from mucormycosis, a rare black fungal infection. Another 850 are currently hospitalised with the disease, as authorities fear an influx of up to 5,000 patients within the next few months. The very rare infection is caused by exposure to mucor mould and normally affects people with severely compromised immune systems, such as diabetics and HIV/Aids sufferers.
It has a 50 percent mortality rate, if it is not treated early.
Prior to the Covid pandemic, instances of the disease were very rare, but doctors are now struggling to cope with the dramatic increase in cases.
Many are having to resort to removing the eyes and jaws of patients, in order to save their lives.
Dr Arvinder Singh Soin, a leading Indian doctor in Delhi, tweeted: “We have seen more cases of black fungus in the past week than we normally treat in two years.”
The outbreak of the black fungus is spreading fast throughout the country.
Authorities in the northern state of Rajasthan have confirmed 100 active cases and have declared a mucormycosis “epidemic”.
The disease affects the sinuses, the brain and lungs.
The rise in “black fungus” infections is thought to be connected to the use of steroids in seriously ill Covid patients.
Certain steroids have been found to be effective in treating those with advanced Covid symptoms.
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They reduce inflammation in the lungs, as well as preventing the body’s immune system from going into overdrive when fighting off the virus.
However, steroids can reduce immunity and increase blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetic Covid patients.
Doctors believe that this drop in immunity could be triggering the explosion in mucormycosis cases.
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