Black fungus in lungs a new concern 

Covid-associated Pulmonary Mucormycosis leads to blood while coughing and is seen in immunocompromised patients.

Published: 24th June 2021 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th June 2021 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

A health expert examines test reports of a patient to detect black fungus. (File Photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Until now, there were reports of mucormycosis (black fungus) affecting the nose, paranasal sinus area and eyes. But now, doctors are reporting cases where it progresses to the lungs, which needs to be treated with anti-fungal drugs and surgery to remove the affected part.

Termed as Pulmonary Mucormycosis, seen in recovered Covid-19 patients, the fungus destroys the lung tissues and causes huge cavities in the organ, with a high fatality rate. Covid-associated Pulmonary Mucormycosis leads to blood while coughing and is seen in immunocompromised patients.

“We had a child with diabetes who developed mucormycosis in the lung post-Covid. He has been put on anti-fungal medication and surgery was done to remove the infected part . Another case we had was a renal transplant immunocompromised patient. This patient has been put on the medicine and will be operated upon. A third patient we saw has chronic kidney disease and we had another patient with Pulmonary Mucormycosis,” said Dr Sachin D, Consultant - Interventional Pulmonology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Specialist, Manipal Hospitals.Symptoms that recovered Covid patients must watch out for includes pain in nose and sinuses, nasal bleeding and coughing blood. At Apollo Hospitals, doctors received five such cases.

”Four of the patients passed away and one is still under treatment. It is is hard to diagnose and operate upon. Patients come with pneumonia-like presentation and fever, and it is hard to differentiate between pneumonia and mucormycosis. Three of the five patients also presented with white fungus. Mortality rate is high and bronchoscopy needs to be done to detect mucormycosis in the lungs,” said Dr Ravindra Mehta,

Senior Consultant and HoD, Pulmonology and Interventional Pulmonology, Apollo Speciality Hospitals.The hospital plans to submit the findings to a medical journal.It presents with loss of appetite, breathlessness and can progress into frank sepsis and the patient may succumb,said Dr Srivatsa Lokeshwaran, Consultant, Interventional Pulmonology, Aster CMI Hospital, where they have seen two such cases.


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