We have another deadly disease to fight – Mucormycosis

We have another deadly disease to fight – Mucormycosis

We have another deadly disease to fight – Mucormycosis


The pandemic has thrown several challenges to the common mass and the scientists and doctors are rising to the occasion to save lives.

The pandemic has thrown several challenges to the common mass and the scientists and doctors are rising to the occasion to save lives.

As the nation stumbles to get through the crisis, we have another deadly disease to fight – Mucormycosis.

Doctors explain that Mucor is a rare but life threatening disease, which has become quite common in recent times – more so in patients who have recently recovered from COVID. There have been reports of the same even during the first wave but as physicians are discussing amongst themselves, the mucor occurring in the second wave is deadlier and merciless. The medical community is now seeing a fungus, which is affecting patients who are not previously diabetic or immunocompromised, otherwise and in a younger population.

Dr Gaurav Medikeri, program director of Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery, HCG Cancer Hospital said that the most shocking part was that these patients somehow manage to step out of a COVID hospital alive and feel happy about it but only to step into another equally messy disease If not worse.

Talking to The Hans India the doctor said that he has come across 19 cases in the first wave and 27 cases in the last weeks in the 2nd wave. "But this time, more people are presenting in an advanced stage very early. I even saw this disease in a 20 year old boy who went blind because of it and we had to remove his eye because of the same. These cases are being reported all over India but surprisingly not many reports coming from the rest of the world," Medikeri said.

"The rate of progress of the disease is alarming as we have seen that in the last two months, we have had to remove close to 10 eyeballs of the 26 patients that presented to us with mucormycosis – that is a staggering 38%! Our youngest patient is only 20 years old, which was unheard of in the history of management of mucormycosis. Removing an eye for a 20-year-old is not only traumatizing in terms of a physical handicap, but also mentally and emotionally disabling for them. He hasn't even started living his life yet and has been through COVID, lost an eye and also contracted diabetes! Not to mention that this is a financially draining condition, as patients need long-term liposomal amphotericin B which is not only expensive, but also in short supply.

As of today, there is an acute shortage on Amphotericin B in the market and most physician groups consist of messages asking for help in trying to procure Amphotericin B for their patients," he narrated the case.

In another case, a 50-year-old female from Yelahanka had intracranial spread while the patient was being shifted to the HCG Cancer hospital and succumbed to her disease even before she could seek medical help. The disease was so rampant and aggressive, that there is absolutely no time to lose in examining, investigating, imaging and formulating a treatment plan for these patients. The difficult part is that the plan has to be tailor made for each patient depending on their age, extent of disease, and the general health condition, which needs a team, based approach to tackle the disease holistically.

One 46-year-old BMTC bus driver who is the sole breadwinner for his family is battling with his life at a tertiary care center, as this fungal disease has consumed the frontal lobe of his brain and is pushing ahead, but his wife refuses to give up on him. He has a weak heart making him unfit for surgery.

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