India has recorded over 45,000 cases of mucormycosis in the past two months, a very aggressive, rare and fatal fungal infection, the resurgence of which could be linked to the excessive use of steroids to treat Covid patients.
India’s health ministry said on July 20 that more than 4,200 people had died from mucormycosis, also known as “black fungus disease.” This normally rare pathology has spread in India among Covid-19 patients after their recovery, Deputy Minister of Health Bharati Pravin Pawar told Parliament. The country now has more than 45,000 cases.
Surgeons forced to perform ablations on patients’ faces
As AFP reports, this very aggressive fungal disease, which usually has a mortality rate in excess of 50%, has forced surgeons to remove the eyes, nose and jaw of some patients to avoid that the infection does not reach the brain. According to the government, the state of Maharashtra (west) is the most affected with 9,348 cases. India recorded only 20 cases of mucormycosis per year before the Covid-19 pandemic, this disease affecting in particular people who are immunocompromised, have too high a blood sugar level, have AIDS or have undergone transplants. organs.
Experts have attributed this dramatic rise in mucormycosis cases to excessive use of steroids to treat Covid-19 patients. In May, the Indian government declared a state of epidemic for mucormycosis as the number of cases began to explode. Government figures show the number of infections peaked in May and June before dropping significantly. Social networks were then inundated with desperate calls for treatments to cure this disease. The newspaper Hindustan Times reported on July 19 an increase in cases among children in the state of Rajasthan (north).