The ‘Nightmarish’ Rise of Black Fungus

As India battles a devastating wave of COVID-19 cases, another crisis is waiting in the wings that will far outlast the pandemic: a chronic fungal disease that kills slowly and is extraordinarily difficult to diagnose and treat.
 
Preying on the weakened immune systems of recovering coronavirus patients, mucormycosis, better known as “black fungus” has caused some 30,000 cases in India in recent months. Hundreds have died.
 
The main sign that the Mucor fungus has taken hold: a patient simply doesn’t get better.
 
“It’s just nightmarish,” says Arturo Casadevall, a leading expert on fungi. Casadevall spoke with GHN’s Annalies Winny about why India’s Mucor crisis should be a warning sign for the rise of fungal infections across the globe—and flags one key driving force: overuse of immunosuppressing steroids in treating COVID-19 patients.   
 
“It’s an epidemic, really,” he says.
 
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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