According to the BBC, several Indian doctors had to take care of patients affected by mucormycosis. Dr Akshay Nair, eye surgeon at Sion Hospital in Bombay, told British media that he had met 40 patients with this fungal infection in April. Dr Raghuraj Hedge, another ophthalmic surgeon, practicing in Bengalore, has identified 19 cases. So far, all of these patients have been affected by Covid-19 and, most of the time, the fungal infection has manifested itself three weeks after being infected with the virus. These are mainly people with diabetes.
For the moment, although an increase in cases has been observed, the situation is not at all alarming. In normal times, India is already the country with the most cases of mucormycosis per number of inhabitants. Then, its hot and humid climate is favorable to the development of the fungus which attacks the human tissues by inhalation of the spores. Nevertheless, the infection is potentially fatal if the spread of the fungus is not stopped quickly through surgery.
The treatment against Covid-19 involved
Asked by Le Figaro, Professor Fanny Lanternier, researcher at the National Reference Center for Invasive Mycoses at the Pasteur Institute, explains that people generally affected by this fungus are fragile, often suffering from other diseases, such as diabetes. Then, several specialists say that the steroids used as treatment for patients suffering from Covid-19 would have a role to play in this story. Because, although these drugs reduce inflammation in the lungs, the immune system is also weakened.