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Risk of mucormycosis in Covid-19 patients

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Mucormycosis

Mains level : Paper 2- Mucormycosis infection risk in Covid-19 patients

About mucormycosis

  • Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that has a high mortality rate of 50 per cent.
  • An increasing number of Covid-19 patients have been developing this infection while still at the hospital or after discharge.
  • The disease often manifests in the skin and also affects the lungs and the brain.
  • Some of the common symptoms include sinusitis, blackish nasal discharge, facial pain, headaches, and pain around the eyes.

Who is at risk

  • Patients who have been hospitalised for Covid-19 and particularly those who require oxygen therapy during Covid-19 illness are at a much higher risk of mucormycosis.
  • However, there are some cases of mucormycosis in patients with asymptomatic Covid-19 infection.
  • Before the pandemic, patients with uncontrolled diabetes were at a higher risk of mucormycosis.
  • The risk of mucormycosis rises for these patients for two reasons.
  • First is that Covid-19 further impairs their immune system.
  • Second, they are given corticosteroids for their treatment it leads to a rise in their blood sugar level thus increasing their risk of mucormycosis.

Treatment

  • Today, we have a number of drugs and anti-fungal medicines that can treat mucormycosis.
  • These are given by IV or taken orally.
  • Surgery is needed to remove the affected dead tissues along with antifungal therapy.
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