The life-threatening fungal infection in both India and neighboring South Asian countries is exacerbating the dire situation of COVID-19. In patients affected, with or recovering from COVID 19, fungal infection is commonly called mucormicose or black fungal influenza because of their blacking effect on the skin. The fungus does not distribute by contact with human or animal infection. Patients with COVID-19 generally have a reduced lymphocyte level, particularly T-cells helpers and cytotoxic T-cells. These cells play a vital part in the body’s inflammatory immune reaction and are extremely vulnerable to secondary bacterial and fungal infections due to their decreased level in COVID-19 patients. Doctors also give COVID-19 patients steroidal immunosuppressive medications to further weaken their immunity. The phagocytic activity of neutrophils and macrophages in COVID-19 patients is, however, reduced by the steroid drugs.
In the case of diabetic patients, steroidal drugs suddenly increase blood sugar levels, another vital risk factor for mucormycosis. Furthermore, this fungal infection is beneficial to an iron-rich environment. Increased cytokine such as interleukin-6 increases COVID-19 ferritin levels and is even more susceptible to mucormycosis.COVID-19 is therefore the leading treatment vulnerable to mucormicose infection in diabetes mellitus and immunosuppressant corticosteroid drugs. In some cases, when fungal infections spread to the eyes, doctors suggest that eyes be removed to stop the propagation of the virus to the brain, resulting in death. More than 80% of patients require surgery right away.COVID-19 is therefore the most susceptible to mucormic infection in mellitus diabetes and corticosteroid immunosuppressants. In certain circumstances, doctors suggest that when a fungal infection spreads to the eyes, eyes should be removed to stop the virus spreading to the brain and cause death. Over 80% of patients need surgery immediately.
The signs of warning include eye or nose pain and redness, with fever, headache, cough, breathlessness, bleeding vomiting and altered mental condition. The advisory indicates that if there is mucormycetic infection:
* Sinusitis — nasal blockade or congestion, nasal discharge (blackish/bloody);
* Local pain on the cheek bone, one-sided facial pain, numbness or swelling;
* Blackish discoloration over bridge of nose/palate;
* Loosening of teeth, jaw involvement;
* Blurred or double vision with pain;
* Thrombosis, necrosis, skin lesion;
* Chest pain, pleural effusion, worsening of respiratory symptoms.
India is not the only country that has an increase in cases of mucormycotic. The reports of COVID-19 related mucormycotic are reported in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, but these countries are not so highly populated and do not have the same effect on the wave of COVID-19 cases. In those countries however, under 15% of people have received their first vaccination dose, which is to say that in other low- and medium-income countries, similar mucormycotic epidemics may occur. The health services already struggling with the pandemic would therefore be burdened. Vaccinating equitable systems and COVID-19 patients across the world, as well as other associated, deadly infections, must therefore be ensured.