By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Officials at the Sir Ganga Ram hospital in Delhi, India are reporting at least 13 cases of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis, a serious but rare fungal infection, according to multiple local media reports.

Mucor sp./CDC

Times of India reports,  “In the last 15 days, we have seen 13 cases of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis. Five have died. At least three patients have suffered vision and have had to undergo removal of the nose and jaw bone to prevent the spread of infection, Dr Manish Munjal, senior ENT surgeon, said. “Usually, we see one to two cases of mucormycosis in a month,” he added.

In one case, a 32-year-old who had recovered from COVID-19 experienced a nagging left side nose obstruction, which rapidly became an eye swelling within two days, after which he reached out to the doctors. The left side of his face had become completely numb and he was brought to the hospital emergency in a partially disoriented and obtunded state, according to a Indian Express report.

“His tests revealed the presence of steeply elevated sugar and infection levels, but even more deadlier, the presence of a killer rare fungus called Mucor, which was sampled from his nose debris. An MRI revealed that the infection had already destroyed a significant part of his left side sinuses, eye, upper jaw bone and muscles, and even had made passage into the brain,” said Dr Munjal.

Low immunity in people recovering from COVID-19, either due to the infection or medications are being looked at as the cause of these unique cases.

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Zygomycosis, or mucormycosis, is an acute fungal infection from a number of genera of molds.

Infections with these fungi typically cause disease that is rapidly progressive, destructive and associated with a high fatality rate of 50% of higher.

It is most prevalent in those with a weakened immune system or other debilitating disease like diabetes. These fungi have an affinity for blood vessels, and cause thrombosis, infarction and tissue necrosis.

It is not communicable from person-to-person.

India news source, News 18 reports that this is not only being seen in Delhi, but in other cities–Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. In Ahmedabad, Mucormycosis was reported in five patients who were all either suffering from coronavirus or had recently recovered from it–two died and two lost their sight.

In Bengaluru, Mucormycosis was reported in four patients linked to COVID-19, in which two died.

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To date, India has reported 9.9 million COVID-19 cases, including 143,000 fatalities.