On the Ground

Deadly 'black fungus' disease infects more than 12,000 in Covid-hit India

Dr Brij Pal Tyagi speaks with a patient infected with mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, at Harsh Ent Hospital in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Dr Brij Pal Tyagi speaks with a patient infected with mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, at Harsh Ent Hospital in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. © France 24 screengrab

The rare fungal disease mucormycosis has killed more than 300 people and infected more than 12,000 in India as the country’s health system continues to grapple with Covid-19. A surgeon at a Delhi hospital told FRANCE 24 that the disease, also known as ‘black fungus’, can infect people who have been treated with oxygen for the coronavirus.

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The deadly fungus moves rapidly in the body, attacking the nose, eyes, jaw and brain. Patients need immediate surgery to survive, but they are left with disabilities.

Black fungus can be treated with anti-fungal injections like Amphotericin B, but with the rising number of cases in India, there is an acute shortage.

"We are not able to find injections, we are facing a huge problem," Amit Singh, a relative of a patient, told FRANCE 24. "We are getting no help from the government."

Click on the video player above to watch the full report.

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