More deadly? Fungal disease which causes blindness, death, arrives in Gujarat, 44 hospitalized

At a time when the novel coronavirus is constantly taking lives across the globe, 9 deaths in India’s Ahmedabad have been confirmed due to Mucormycosis. Mucormycosis, a rare but deadly fungal disease, is hitting the headlines, with cases coming up in Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

According to a report in India Today, out of the 44 recent cases of mucormycosis in Ahmedabad, nine patients have lost their lives. The infection has also resulted in eyesight loss for some people.

During this month, ENT surgeons at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) have seen many cases of “Covid-triggered mucormycosis”.

What does mucormycosis do?

The infection usually starts from the nose and spreads to eyes. While a quick diagnosis and treatment can cure the patient, left untreated, it can prove fatal.

As the infection spreads, it paralyses muscles around the pupils of the eye, leading to blindness. If the fungal infection spreads to the brain, the patient can get meningitis.

It is the rapid increase in the numbers seen in unsuspected recovering COVID-19 patients that is causing the grave concern. Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. This puts people recovering from COVID-19 or post-COVID issues at high risk. 

People with diabetes and health problems are also at high risk. In Ahmedabad, the majority of patients who have come to the civil hospital with mucormycosis had diabetes and were recovering from COVID-19. If you have swelling or pain in your nose and/or blurred eyesight, you should go to the doctor immediately.

Cases have been recorded at the Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi. Mumbai has also reported cases. A total of 44 hospitalisations, including nine deaths, due to mucormycosis, were recorded by the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, reports state.

Dr. Bela Prajapki, head of ENT at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital told India Today TV that all the cases reported so far were of patients over 50 years of age and suffering from diabetes or other diseases.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.