Mucormycosis – India

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Black Fungus cases rise from 36 to 4,925 in one week in Andhra Pradesh, India.

The Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh reported 10 new cases and one death, and Guntur district has the highest number of 135 patients under treatment for Black Fungus. There are cases in other districts of Krishna (58 cases), East Godavari (50 cases), Vizianagaram (1 case) and six other districts have less than 20 active cases. Srikakulam and West Godavari have zero cases so far.

The number of cases under treatment came down from 463 to 390 in the week. It is reported that so far, there were surgeries performed on 4,086 infected people.

Photo: Mucor fungus species.

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection. Generally, species in the Mucor, Rhizopus, Absidia, and Cunninghamella genera are most often implicated.

Common sources of infections are from soil and damp walls on old buildings.

It can infect the sinuses and brain, lungs, skin and digestive tract. The infection in some cases also spreads through the bloodstream where it can result in the formation of blood clots and tissue death in the surrounding areas. Patients with this disease frequently need amputations due to necrotized tissue when blood clots form.

Mostly mucormycosis occurs with underlying conditions such as diabetes, HIV, lymphomas kidney failure and immunosuppressive therapy. However, in some cases infection is reported without any predisposing factors present.

It has been reported in association with COVID-19 and may be caused by treatment with corticosteroids.

It is a very rare infection. Hospital outbreaks are a risk where infection can spread through contaminated hospital linen.

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