One may suffer mild to moderate respiratory issues if infected with COVID-19, but in many cases, the virus is affecting a patients’ overall well-being and aggravating other severe diseases, if any, as well. After months of research, it is now known that apart from attacking the respiratory tract, COVID also affects blood vessels and the body’s defense mechanism drastically.
But of late, a number of hospitals have reported Mucormycosis in COVID-recovered patients. Mucormycosis is an existing, though rare, fungal infection; but why are COVID-recovered patients getting affected by the same?
“It is a fungal infection which starts in the nasal area, throat, and then soon spreads to the eyes, brain, and finally, the entire body. Once it starts infecting a patient’s brain, it becomes life-threatening. Its rapid spread worsens the condition which can lead to multiple organ failure as well if left untreated or not treated at the right time. In the process, it damages immunity, aggravates other diseases, and makes the patient infection-prone,” Dr Neha Sethi, consultant, ENT specialist, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital.
Continuous headache, heaviness in the facial area, or swelling can be called initial minor symptoms. Visible symptoms may include badly swollen eyes, black spots around the swollen area, chocked throat etc. It is recommended to seek the advice of a medical practitioner even if mild symptoms start showing, said Dr Sethi.
Initially, CT scan and endoscopy for diagnosis are done. Then after finding its occurrence, antifungal injections are given. Surgical interventions may be needed to remove fungal balls from the affected organs. But the condition of the patient and concerned doctor’s analysis decide the course of treatment.
COVID and Mucormycosis
Considering the severity, it is not wise to put mucormycosis among other general fungal infections. Being a rare but severe fungal infection, mucormycosis generally occurs in highly immunity-compromised patients like cancer patients, patients with severe diabetes or those who underwent multiple organ surgeries or have had a complicated surgery, said Dr Sethi.
“Since it is now showing in several COVID patients post-recovery, it reflects how COVID infection affects our immune system on a deeper level. It calls for serious attention as people now need more to be health-conscious and work on their overall well-being,” said Dr Sethi.
Right information is the key
After COVID infection, keep a positive approach towards life and follow the doctor’s suggestions. Even post-COVID, keep going for regular health check-ups. It will help in catching any disease at the initial stage and get it cured right then, said Dr Sethi.