From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Mucormycosis
Mains level : Paper 2- Mucormycosis infection risk in Covid-19 patients
- 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.
- 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.