Of them, four were aged between 34 and 47, while the fifth was a 67-year-old from Bhuj who was rushed to Ahmedabad in a critical condition late Friday. All reported enlarged eyeballs that bulged out of their sockets.
“All had a history of uncontrolled diabetes and were on strong drugs, including steroids. Their immunity was very low. We believe these conditions led to the rapid spread of the infection,” Dr Rana said, adding that before the pandemic, mucormycosis would take 15-30 days to spread. In these cases, however, it took just two to three days. Leading infectious disease specialist Dr Atul Patel , who was part of a national study on mucormycosis, had earlier red-flagged the growing incidence of the fungal infection in coronavirus patients. “We have recorded 19 cases of mucormycosis in Covid-19 recovered patients in the past three months. This is 4.5 times higher than the burden reported conventionally before the pandemic,” he said.
Poor diabetes control, use of high doses of steroids and overall compromised immunity due to immune dysregulation and hyper-inflammation in Covid-19 patients has rendered them more vulnerable to the deadly fungal infection, Dr Patel added.