A patient infected with "black fungus" is taken on a wheelchair for treatment in Hyderabad on Sunday.Mahesh Kumar A / APGN3
BLACK FUNGUS' STRIKES FEAR IN INDIA
Black fungus' strikes fear in India as Covid deaths pass 300,000. Mucormycosis has appeared in both current and recovering patients of coronavirus, causing blurred vision, chest pain and breathing difficulties.
became only the third country to record 300,000
on Monday amid growing fears about a potentially fatal fungal infection striking some of those who have
battled the virus
Over 8,800 total cases of the so-called black fungus, known as mucormycosis, have been recorded across
, the country's minister of chemicals and fertilizers, Sadananda Gowda, said in a
Although Gowda did not share the official number of deaths caused by mucormycosis, The Associated Press reported that local media had found that more than 250 people have died as a result of the disease.
Experts told the AP that they had seen only a handful of cases per year of mucormycosis in India prior to the country's second wave. This has further stoked fears that the fungal infection has dire effects on
India recorded over 4,454
Monday, becoming only the third country to reach over 300,000 total deaths, after the
, according to official data. It also reported 222,315 new cases Monday, adding to a total of over 26 million cases.
Mucormycosis has appeared in both current and recovering patients of coronavirus, causing blurred vision, chest pain and breathing difficulties.
The disease spreads through the respiratory tract and is especially harmful to those with weakened immune systems and underlying conditions, and as doctors in India are finding, in
who had been treated with large quantities of steroids.
SK Pandey, a medical officer from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, told the AP that this was especially apparent in rural areas and smaller cities, where unqualified doctors were prescribing steroids improperly.
“This has led to increase in black fungus cases in smaller cities where the patient has not even been hospitalized,” he said.
Mucormycosis can be life threatening if it reaches the brain, so doctors are having to surgically remove the eyes of patients to stop the infection from spreading too far, according to the AP.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an online video conference Friday to health care workers in the Indian city of Varanasi that the disease was a new challenge.