As India struggles with the world’s highest number of daily infections of the novel coronavirus, new complications appear to be escalating piling pressure on hospitals.
Indian authorities are strictly monitoring the rare fungal disease hitting COVID-19 patients called Mucormycosis, or “black fungus” which usually infects people whose immune system has been compromised, causing blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and coughing blood.
Doctors believe that the use of steroids to treat severe COVID-19 cases is to blame for the surge in cases because the drugs reduce immunity and raise blood sugar levels.
Pharmacists are warning of a critical drug shortage to treat an invasive fungal infection that preys on patients with compromised immune systems.
Health Secretary Lav Agarwal did not give the number of the Mucormycosis cases nationwide but Maharashtra, one of the states worst hit in the second wave of coronavirus infections, has reported 1,500 cases of it.
The total caseload in India is 25.77 million, ranking second only to the United States. Deaths increased by 3,874 overnight, bringing the total to 287,122.