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As India witnessed an unprecedented surge in the number of coronavirus cases, states soon reported a shortage of vaccines. Following the acute shortage of Remedesivir, a drug used to treat Covid-19, some states in the country are experiencing a shortage of anti-fungal injection 'amphotericin' and anti-fungal medicines used to treat mucormycosis. Amid the second wave of coronavirus, India is reporting cases of mucormycosis or black fungus yet again. It is a rare but dangerous fungal infection that manifests in the skin, and even cause blindness or other serious complications.
Many hospitals have reported that there has been a rise in the number of Covid-triggered mucormycosis or black fungus cases. Several Covid-19 patients have lost their lives due to this fungal infection, especially common in diabetics. Experts are more concerned about Covid-19 patients developing black fungus than the infection itself. Amid the deteriorating condition in the country, the shortage of Liposomal amphotericin B an important drug used to treat mucormycosis has raised concern.
In a statement, Dr Koka Rambabu, senior consultant ENT surgeon, Apollo Hospitals told TOI that the non-availability of the injection is a cause of concern. He further highlighted that the drugs used following the initial treatment are also short in supply.
Reports suggest that due to the rapid increase in the cases of mucormycosis and increased demand has led to a spike in the prices of these drugs in the black market. People are charging more than three times the original cost of the drugs.
Mucormycosis or black fungus is a rare fungal infection that has been reported in many recovered Covid patients. It is typically caused by exposure to mucor, which is commonly found in soil and air. It is also found in the mucus of people and can affect sinuses, the brain and lungs and can be life-threatening in people with diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, kidney problems, etc. Even people who have has an organ transplant are at risk of black fungus.
According to experts, mucormycosis has an overall mortality rate of 50 per cent, which is mainly triggered by the treatment of critically ill Covid-19 patients. It can affect anyone who comes in contact with the fungal spores present in the environment.
If you are someone who is infected with coronavirus or recovered, it is important to know the symptoms of this infection to keep yourself safe. The symptoms of black fungus include:
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