Terrifying ‘black fungus’ sees Covid patients losing eyes — and it’s on the move
The deadly ‘black fungus’ infection which has led to coronavirus patients in India losing their eyes is feared to be on the move.
Cases of the rare condition, called mucormycosis, have now emerged in Chile, while a case has also been recorded in Uruguay.
Thousands of patients in Covid-stricken India have reportedly lost their eyes after developing the infection.
Covid survivors are more likely to develop the condition as the virus is treated by steroids, which can suppress the immune system.
It is caused by moulds which exist in the environment but can kill people whose immune system is weakened.
After the spores are breathed in, the infection attacks the lungs and sinuses before spreading, and can reach the eyes, face and brain.
The condition is thought to have surged in India because of a lack of drugs which are available to combat it.
Uruguay detected a case in a 50-year-old recovering from Covid last week, according to the Times.
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The Chilean Society of Infectology said: "Cases of fungal infections have been detected since the start of the pandemic but the frequency has increased and serious cases have risen.”
Symptoms of the condition depend on where it infects the body, but can include blindness, black lesion spots and blisters.
In some cases it can lead to amputations.
Last month, medics in Delhi, the centre of the country's Covid crisis, reported that the infection was sweeping hospital wards.
The infection was feared to be halving the survival rate of those who contract it.
And around 60% of hospital patients being treated for it were reported to have one or both eyes removed.
Whereas medics in India would usually see three or four cases in a year, they are reportedly seeing five or six each day at the moment.
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