DAK sounds alert over black fungus in COVID patients

Srinagar, May 17 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday said a rare but deadly fungal infection called mucormycosis is infecting Covid-19 patients.

DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan in a statement issued in Srinagar, sounding alert, said if left untreated the disease can be fatal for Covid patients.

“Cases of mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus are being reported in several states of the country among recovering and recovered Covid-19 patients,” he added.

Dr Hassan said chances of fungal infection increase in Covid patients who are diabetic and are taking steroids. “Diabetes lowers the body’s immune defenses, Covid exacerbates it and then steroids act like a fuel to the fire,” he said.

Dr Hassan maintained Covid itself leads to lymphopenia, therefore predisposing patients to opportunistic fungal infection. “The use of ordinary water in humidifiers which are used during oxygen therapy could be another factor,” he added.

The DAK President said to prevent this life-threatening disease in Covid patients, doctors should use steroids judiciously and ensure there is no misuse of steroids. People who have diabetes should keep their sugar levels in control and use sterile water for humidifiers during oxygen therapy, he advised. He said, the fungus is ubiquitous and is found in soil, air and decaying food.

He said, despite being common in the environment, it does not cause infection in healthy humans. However, he said, when the body’s defenses have been weakened, the fungus gets a chance to infect with devastating results.

“After inhaling fungus from the air, it can go into nose, sinuses, eyes and brain leading to loss of vision and even death in some cases. It can also affect lungs,” Dr Nisar said.

“There is an urgent need to make people aware about the disease, he maintained.

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