Updated: May 6, 2021 10:37:10 pm
Ten people, who recovered from Covid-19 and were discharged from hospitals, have undergone surgeries for mucormycosis in the last few days at YCM hospital. Doctors said the surgeries had saved the vision of at least five patients, who were severely affected and sought early treatment.
“Mucormycosis cases have been seen among patients affected by Covid-19. After they have recovered, they have reported fungus on upper jaw and sinus. It mostly affects maxilla but mandibular cases have also been reported,” said Dr Yashwant Ingale, head of the dental department at YCM hospital.
The surgeries were performed by a team led by Dr Ingale, and Dr Aniket Lathi, who is the head of the ENT department. Other doctors in the team included Dr Aditya Yevlekar and Dr Kausubh Kahane.
“Mucormycosis is a fungal infection seen most in patients who have recovered from Covid-19. It could be developing even when the patient is undergoing treatment, but is generally noticed post-Covid,” he said.
Dr Ingale said the exact cause was not known, but overuse of steroids and other drugs could be causing the disease. “High dose of steroids is believed to be one of the causes of the fungal disease,” he added.
Dr Ingale also said these cases were common among diabetes patients post-Covid. “The use of steroids for diabetic patients during Covid-19 treatment probably leads to the growth of the fungus. Even in blood pressure, mucormycosis cases have been seen,” he said.
Signs and symptoms of the disease include constant low grade fever, nasal discharge, mobility in teeth, periodontal abscess and sinusitis.
Dr Ingale said, “Mucormycosis can affect maxillary alveolus, maxillary sinus, and finally intracranial involvement is seen. If left untreated, it can cause blindness, cavernous sinus thrombosis, cerebral ischemia, infarction and death.”
Dr Lathi said through surgery, they had been able to protect the vision of at least five patients. “These five patients were severely affected in their eyes post-Covid, as the disease had spread rapidly in a 24-hour period… The surgeries helped protect their vision,” he said.
Dr Lathi also said higher doses of antibiotics and steroids on diabetic patients during Covid-19 treatment led to mucormycosis. “It is a rare condition. It does not affect every patient. It is mostly seen in diabetic patients. The key is seeking early treatment…” he added.
Dr Ingale further said in such cases, when toothaches or extraction was required, dentists had to be vigilant in diagnosing cases of mucormycosis. “Prompt consultation and early treatment helps in getting rid of the disease. The operation takes an hour and a half,” he said.
In the first wave, doctors had detected two to three cases, Dr Ingale said. “But in the second wave, we have, so far, operated upon more than 10 patients,” he added.
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