Mucormycosis or Black fungus cases are spreading across India in the wake of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though this had happened last year after the first wave of the pandemic, this time around the situation is more critical and spreading faster and infecting more people.
According to the study on black fungus in India, doctors at the PGIMER said on Saturday that uncontrolled diabetes and improper use of steroid were the major factors for its emergence. However, they said the study could not look into the role of the Covid-19 virus in causing immunity disturbance leading to mucormycosis. Already more than 20,000 cases have been reported across India, Arunaloke Chakrabarti, Professor and Head, Department of Medical Microbiology, PGIMER, said.
In the MucoCovi network study, 16 healthcare centres participated to provide detailed information about proven mucormycosis cases with and without Covid-19 infection from September 1 to December 31, 2020. The prevalence of Covid associated mucormycosis (CAM) was 0.27 percent in patients managed in hospital wards and 1.6 percent in patients managed in ICUs.
In patients with CAM, newly detected diabetes mellitus was more frequent compared to nonCAM cases. This suggests the direct role of Covid-19 in causing or worsening diabetes, which may predispose these patients to mucormycosis. It was seen that inappropriate use of steroids (63.3 percent) i.e. either in very high doses or use in patients who did not need it was associated with the development of late CAM, i.e. more than eight day after Covid-19 diagnosis.