Doctors at Continental Hospitals here have said they have come across five Covid-19 patients suffering from Mucormycosis, a serious fungal infection, also known as ‘Black Fungus’.

In the past three to four weeks, five patients have been reported with this infection at Continental Hospitals, indicating rise in the condition among Covid-19 patients in Hyderabad.

Prolonged hospitalisation and continuous use of corticosteroids, which has become a standard for Covid-19 treatment, is resulting in lowering the immune system, leading to susceptibility to infections like Mucormycosis, doctors said. The infection could cause irreversible damage to organs and threaten the life of infected patients.

Dr Dushyanth Ganesuni, ENT, Head and Neck Surgeon and Laryngologist, Continental Hospitals said: “Swelling around the eyes, one-sided facial or eye pain, decreased sensation over cheeks, blood-stained nasal discharge are some of the symptoms of Mucormycosis infection. Such patients will be administered with antifungal drugs or a surgical debridement will be performed depending on the condition to reduce the disease burden.”

“Unjustified and self-prescribed use of antibiotics and steroids to treat Covid-19 symptoms is dangerous. Such practices will affect the immune system and could lead to secondary infections like Mucormycosis. Hence, even for conditions like fevers, cold or cough, it is suggested that one seeks medical advice before resorting to any form of self-medication,” Dr Dushyanth said.

Doctors and ICU specialists should be aware of this condition and a high degree of suspicion is needed particularly in patients with severe Covid-19 infection with other associated risk factors. Patients must be rational while using steroids, control blood sugars and to maintain nasal hygiene. They can use saline isotonic nasal spray and 0.5 percent Betadine nasal drops in both nostrils twice/thrice daily as a prophylactic treatment, doctors said.

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