Indian coronavirus variant 'under analysis' says Harries
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The rare fungal infection is spreading out of control and alarming doctors in the world’s second-most populous nation. The “black fungus” is known as mucormycosis and is usually most aggressive in patients whose immune systems are weakened by other infections. Speaking to AFP a member of India’s coronavirus taskforce said: “The cases of mucormycosis infection in COVID-19 patients post-recovery is nearly four to five times than those reported before the pandemic.
“Mucormycosis is a very rare infection.
“It is caused by exposure to mucor mould which is commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables.”
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) said on Twitter: “Mucormycosis, if uncared for, may turn fatal”.
The symptoms of infection with the fungus are serious problems with the sinuses, the brain, and the lungs.
The infection can be life-threatening in people who are diabetic.
It also severely affects immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS.
People who suffer from coronavirus are more susceptible to contracting the fungal infection if they had prolonged stays in hospital ICUs.
Treatment involves surgically removing all dead and fungus-infected tissue.
The treatment for the infection is to administer a course of anti-fungal therapy.
Indian doctor, Yogesh Dabholkar, has told AFP that the drugs used to treat those infected with the fungus are very expensive.
He added that the nation is running short of these drugs.
Khusrav Bajan, an Indian doctor based in Mumbai spoke to AFP and said: “The mortality rate is very high.
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“Even the few that recover, only recover with extensive and aggressive surgery.
“This is a fast-moving infection.
“It can grow within two weeks.
“It’s a Catch-22, coming out of a virus and getting into a fungal infection.
“It’s really bad.”
The news of the fungal infection comes after a surge in infections across India.
The nation now has 366,161 coronavirus cases and 3,754 deaths have been reported as of Monday.
India is now on a grim trajectory of reaching a milestone of 250,000 fatalities from coronavirus.
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