So-called “black fungus” infections are surging in India in the wake of a devastating wave of COVID-19. The rare but devastating infection can destroy the eyes and spread to the brain.
Cases now top 31,000, rising from an estimate of dozens to a few hundred cases just last month. Media reports have tallied over 2,100 deaths, but federal health authorities have not released an official death count.
Past medical reviews have estimated that the fungal infection—mucormycosis—has an overall fatality rate of around 50 percent. However, mortality rates vary by patients’ underlying condition and what part of the body the mucormycetes fungi invade. Infection can take hold in the gastrointestinal tract, skin breaks, lungs, and the blood.