NEW DELHI: Timely diagnosis along with early surgical and medical intervention offered better chances of survival for patients diagnosed with mucormycosis (black fungus), finds a new study conducted by Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, group medical director, Max Healthcare.
The study is presently uploaded in Medrxiv and is not yet peer reviewed. While diabetes and steroid usage emerged as clear risk factors, the study suggested there is a need to explore other causations for Covid-19 Associated Mucormycosis (CAM), including direct role played by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The study was based on clinical profile of CAM cases across five states of north India during the second wave taking into account cases admitted in 11 network hospitals of Max Healthcare between March and July, 2021.
Commenting on the study, Dr Budhiraja said, “In moderate and severe cases of Covid-19, the immune system is severely compromised, leading to a severe form of CAM, which has a mortality rate as high as 80 per cent if a patient goes untreated, or remains untreated long and even after treatment, mortality still could be 40-50 per cent. The fungus thrives in uncontrolled diabetics with ketoacidosis as well as in patients with recent steroid use.
The most plausible explanation for the recent surge in mucormycosis cases is believed to be the irrational and prolonged use of steroids in Covid-19 patients. The delta variant of the virus and prolonged ICU stay maybe another reason. Use of industrial oxygen in the wake of an acute shortage of oxygen in hospitals may have contributed to this huge case load.”