India has reported more than 8,800 cases of deadly “black fungus” in a growing epidemic of the disease.
The normally rare infection, called mucormycosis, has a mortality rate of 50%, with some only saved by removing an eye.
But in recent months, India saw thousands of cases affecting recovered and recovering Covid-19 patients.
Doctors say there is a link with the steroids used to treat Covid. Diabetics are at particular risk.
Doctors say the disease strikes 12 to 18 days after recovery from Covid.
What iS Mucormycosis/Black Fungus?
Mucormycosis is a very rare infection. It is caused by exposure to mucor mould which is commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables. “It is ubiquitous and found in soil and air and even in the nose and mucus of healthy people,” says Dr Akshay Nair, a Mumbai-based eye surgeon.
It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs, and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immuno-compromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/Aids.