New Delhi: As the novel coronavirus continues to grapple the world, doctors in Ahmedabad have now reported a rare serious fungal infection that is affecting the COVID-19 patients and also those who have recently recovered. Also Read - PIL in Delhi HC to Remove Caller Tune on COVID Awareness in Amitabh Bachchan's Voice

An Ahmedabad-based retina and ocular trauma surgeon — by the name of Dr Parth Rana — has said that five cases of mucormycosis have been detected, a report in The Times of India said. Also Read - New Coronavirus Strain: South Korea Extends UK Flight Ban For 2 More Weeks

What is Mucormycosis? Also Read - Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar Reopens For Devotees After Nine Months

A rare but serious fungal infection, Mucormycosis is caused by a group of moulds called mucormycetes, which can enter the body through the air (via fungal spores) or the skin through a skin injury.

Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. It is a rare fungal infection with a mortality rate of 50%, reported WION.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include nasal discharge, abdominal pain, bleeding in the nose, eye movement restriction, and lung problems.

All the above-mentioned patients had enlarged eyeballs that were bulging out of the eye sockets. As per the report, two patients have already died while two surviving patients have lost their eyesight.

Four male patients were aged between 34 and 47 years. The fifth patient was a 67-year-old man who has rushed to an Ahmedabad hospital on late Friday night. He was in critical condition.

How does it spread?

Before COVID-19 infection, mucormycosis takes around 15-30 days to spread but after contracting COVID-19, the spread occurs within just 2-3 days.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr Atul Patel, who had earlier warned of the growing incidence of the serious infection in COVID-19 patients, said, “We have recorded 19 cases of mucormycosis infection in recovered patients in the past three months.”

Mucormycosis can’t spread between people or between people and animals.

The specialist doctor has cited poor sugar control, use of high doses of steroids and overall compromised immunity as the reason for the disease.