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India records more than 4,300 `black fungus` deaths

International desk || shiningbd

Published: 15:21, 21 July 2021  
India records more than 4,300 `black fungus` deaths

More than 4,300 people have died of the deadly "black fungus" in India in a growing epidemic of the disease.

India has reported 45,374 cases of this rare and dangerous infection, called mucormycosis, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has said.

Nearly half of them are still receiving treatment. This aggressive infection affects the nose, eyes and sometimes the brain.

Most of the cases involve recovered and recovering Covid-19 patients.

Doctors say the fungus has a link with the steroids used to treat Covid and diabetics are at particular risk.

The infection affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/Aids.

Doctors say the infection seems to strike 12 to 18 days after recovery from Covid.

Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan have reported the most number of cases, according to official data. Two states - Maharashtra and Gujarat - accounted for 1,785 deaths.

Dr Raghuraj Hegde, a Bangalore-based eye surgeon who has treated a number of mucormycosis patients, told the BBC that there had been "massive undercounting of both cases and deaths" of the disease.