New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Timely diagnosis along with early surgical and medical management offered better chances of survival to patients suffering from Covid-19 associated mucormycosis, more commonly known as black fungus, finds a study conducted by Max Healthcare here.
The study, based on cases admitted to 11 network hospitals of Max Healthcare between March and July 2021, is posted on the preprint server Medrxiv and is not yet peer reviewed.
While diabetes and use of steroids emerged as clear risk factors, the study suggested that there is a need to explore other causations for Covid-19 Associated Mucormycosis (CAM) including the direct role played by SARS-CoV-2.
“In moderate and severe cases of Covid-19, the immune system is severely compromised, leading to a severe form of angio-invasive CAM, which has a mortality rate of as high as 80 per cent if a patient goes untreated, or remains untreated long and even after treatment, mortality still could be 40-50 per cent. The fungus thrives in uncontrolled diabetes with ketoacidosis as well as in patients with recent steroid use,” Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director, Max Healthcare, said in a statement.
While the unparalleled, irrational and prolonged use of steroids in Covid-19 patients is the most plausible explanation for the recent surge in mucormycosis cases, the delta variant and prolonged ICU stay may also be a reason for higher cases of mucormycosis, he added.
Mucormycosis is labelled as a rare and emerging fungal infection. India always has had the highest reported numbers of mucormycosis in the world, but when coupled with Covid-19 it became a disease of epidemic proportions in several Indian states during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Till May 19, approximately 5,500 people were affected with CAM in India, resulting in 126 casualties.
India contributed to approximately 71 per cent of the global cases of CAM based on the published literature from December 2019 to the start of April 2021.