Coronavirus Is A Global Threat But Why Is Mucormycosis More Rampant In India?

The language of coronavirus is just as painful and unpredictable as the pandemic itself. Increasingly, new drugs and symptoms that are difficult to pronounce with each passing day are appearing in the vocabulary of desperate family members of covid-19 patients who desperately need to find beds and medicines. Now, the term used for inspection tours in most conversations and calls for help is “mucormycosis“.

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Case Study on mucormycosis:

Doctors describe it as a serious fungal infection, but this fungus is rare to some extent. It is caused by a group of fungi called mucormycosis. What is worrying is that the number of patients with these diseases has increased dramatically across the country. Although the overall figures are not yet clear, the anecdotal evidence is shocking.

Consider this: Dr. Uday Phadke, head of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Sahyadri Hospitals, a major hospital chain in Pune, is a leading endocrinologist and diabetologist in Pune stated that in immunocompromised patients, whether due to cancer or organ transplantation, this is always like a teaching case. We can show adolescents a rare form of expression, that is, they also need to be aware that they are the growth of opportunistic pathogens. When opportunities arise, this is essentially a time when the body’s immunity is low. But now, in Sahyadri Hospital in Pune alone, we have seen 30 to 35 cases every month. There is about one patient every day!

Listings of WHO's response to COVID-19

Lethal Combo

Therefore, most people are asking a question for no reason: “Coronavirus is a global threat, but why don’t we hear it from other countries? Why does mucormycosis seem like the story of India?”

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We got in touch with subject matter experts, in this case, the preferred doctor is an endocrinologist/diabetologist, such as Dr. Phadke (a doctor who specializes in health conditions related to the gland and hormone functions).

The answer is that the deadly combination of the high number of coronavirus cases in a country, which is the world’s diabetes capital, is in India, has approximately 70 million diabetic patients, and is managed while treating Covid-19 steroids.

Here is the famous diabetologist Dr. V Mohan, the chairman and chief consultant of the Dr. Mohan Diabetes Specialty Center (a diabetes chain in Chennai) of the same name said: The reason why we see so many mucormycosis in India than another country is because of the large number of diabetic patients, which are also uncontrolled, and the number of comorbidities is recorded while the long-term use of high-dose steroids can lead to steroid abuse, especially in the first week of viral infection, which may be very dangerous.

He said that at the same time, there are other combinations of factors related to hygiene and contamination of the equipment used. He feels that because the hospital was flooded with many cases of coronavirus it might not be able to perform adequate cleaning, fungus might be deposited on some equipment, or proper water is not used when using oxygen.

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Steroids And Oxygen Therapy

Agrees with Dr. Gangandeep Kang, a leading vaccine expert in India and a professor at Vellore Christian College of Medicine and she said: What I really want to know is what percentage of patients who develop mucormycosis receive oxygen therapy and receive steroid therapy because steroids are obvious risk factors, and we already know this. But Dr. Kang believes that for those receiving oxygen therapy, the only thing that needs to be asked is the condition of the respirator because the mask or humidifier contaminates these respirators. It may also be the cause of the patient’s development of mucormycosis.

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Therefore, when the body’s defense system is paralyzed by the coronavirus, the disease will occur. The most important thing is that the use of steroids is rampant, unchecked, and sometimes up to six times the actual need.

The Antidote

Dr. Phadke said that in terms of treatment, this is basically an exercise in three areas: 1. Immediately try to correct the condition that causes mucormycosis, that is, stop taking steroids, immediately control sugar levels, and check for acidosis (excessive acid in the body fluids); 2. Rapidly and aggressively remove dead tissue through surgical methods, which may require multiple experts. Everything ensures that the fungus will not spread further; and finally, 3. check the black fungus with appropriate drugs. Amphotericin B injection is one of the commonly used drugs. It is a complex drug that is currently in short supply.

The main part of the reason is that these products have never been produced in large quantities, mainly because they are not in high demand and are expensive drugs (costs of thousands of dollars per vial).

However, in addition to Cipla, Bharat Serums, Sun Pharma, and other producers that have joined the manufacturers, the government has approved several companies to produce the drug, and they are all increasing their production capacity.

For example, a spokesperson of Sun Pharma, India’s largest pharmaceutical company, said: We have increased the production of Lambin 50 injections (the company’s brand name for liposomal amphotericin B) to meet additional demand and are confident to increase production quickly.

Although Sun Pharma did not give a timeline, industry insiders said that because it is a complex product and requires sterility testing, it may take two to four weeks to put more stocks that hit the market even after the increase in production. 

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