As India battles the storm of the coronavirus pandemic a rapid rise of a fungus infection is causing patients to need their eyes removing in a desperate bid to save their lives.
A rapid rise in cases of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, has added to the challenges already facing India’s healthcare system as it deals with a huge second wave of coronavirus infections.
More than 9,000 people in India have been diagnosed with black fungus and cases are still on the rise.
Thousands of Covid patients in India have had their eyes removed as a result of contracting black fungus as doctors believe the outbreak is being triggered by steroids being used to treat severe coronavirus.
What is black fungus?
Black fungus or mucormycosis is a fungal infection that causes blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.
The disease has a close link to diabetes, and conditions which compromise the immune system. Experts have said that an overuse during the coronavirus pandemic of certain drugs which suppress the immune system could be causing the surge.
Mucormycosis has a mortality rate of 54%, data from the USA’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
Symptoms include blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.