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Vadodara Reports Rising Cases of Nasal Aspergillosis, Steroids, Non-Sterile Water for Oxygen Blamed: Report

Representative image

Representative image

Pulmonary aspergillosis is commonly seen in immuno-compromised patients but aspergillosis of the sinuses is rare.

As if tri-coloured nasal infections were not enough, doctors in Gujarat’s Vadodara have reported cases of another invasive fungal infection — aspergillosis — among Covid-positive patients as well as those who have recovered from the virus.

According to a report by Indian Express, Vadodara, which has 262 patients undergoing treatment for mucormycosis in two government hospitals — SSG and Gotri medical college — now has at least eight patients of aspergillosis in SSG, admitted over the past week.

The growing cases of fungal infections may be attributed to the usage of steroids for treating Covid patients as well as the use of non-sterile water used for hydrating the oxygen supply.

“Pulmonary aspergillosis is commonly seen in immuno-compromised patients but aspergillosis of the sinuses is rare. We are seeing it now in patients who have recovered from Covid or are undergoing treatment. Although aspergillosis is not as mutilating as mucormycosis, it is also invasive. The fungal infections seen these days are mostly invasive in the rhino-orbital-cerebral passage,” Dr Sheetal Mistry, advisor for Covid-19 to the city and district administration told Indian Express.

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Mistry said, “Fungal infections are opportunistic in nature and feed on glucose. Therefore, patients with a history of diabetes, who have undergone a rigorous course of steroids to treat Covid-19 as well as those who have turned diabetic following Covid-19 infection are at risk of developing the fungal infection. We are also observing low counts of lymphocytes in the blood (lymphopenia), which compromises on immunity and makes way for fungal infections.”

Aspergillosis cannot be classified by colour codes as it is being done at the moment. “It is being called while or yellow fungus but it presents itself in different colours. In some cases, it shows brown, bluish-green, yellowish-green, green, and even gray. The treatment is the same, using Amphotericin-B,” Mistry said.

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first published:May 27, 2021, 11:10 IST