The state medical board has collected samples and further tests are being conducted," Kerala’s Chief Minister-designate Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.

Representative image of a patient treated in intensive care unitImage credits: Picxy / Compankaj22
Coronavirus Health Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 10:01

Kerala’s Chief Minister-designate Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said that some cases of Mucormycosis, a rare fungal infection also known as black fungus, that has been found in Maharashtra and Gujarat since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, have been reported from some parts of Kerala as well.

"Even before COVID-19, such infection had been noticed. The state medical board has collected samples and further tests are being conducted," Vijayan told reporters during a press meet on Saturday. The Infectious Disease Department of the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram has also taken note of the development, he said. However, the CM-designate did not state how many cases have been so far detected in the state.

Mucormycosis is caused by mucormycetes molds, which can be present in the air, in leaves, piles of compost, soil or decomposing wood. The fungus can infect a person’s central nervous system, eyes, sinuses, and lungs. The infection, which is not contagious, can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage. However, if left untreated, it can be life-threatening.

However, according to experts, not everyone who gets exposed to the fungus catches the infection. Mucormycosis has been mostly reported to have been found in persons with weak immune systems, especially if they are diabetic. The infection has been found in some recovering and recovered coronavirus patients from some states. As many as 52 people have died due to mucormycosis in Maharashtra since the COVID-19 outbreak last year.

According to experts, unlike the first wave, mucormycosis is being detected at an early stage during the second pandemic wave. Experts also state that the number of deaths due to mucormycosis has come down as the disease is now being detected at an early stage.

The early symptoms of the infection include obstruction in the nose, swelling in the eye or cheeks, and black dry crusts in the nose, smelly black nasal discharge, face numbness, fever, cold. If left untreated, it can even spread to the eyes and then the brain, making it fatal. If the organism enters the body via a cut or bruise in the skin, it could show up as blackened skin tissue.


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(With PTI inputs)