Steroid abuse led to black fungus

By on October 7, 2022 0

A research paper from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed that the inappropriate use of steroids during the second wave of the pandemic led to an increased frequency of fungal infections, or mucormycosis, in covid patients. .

About 40,824 cases of mucormycosis have been reported across the country, with 3,229 patients dying from it. This prompted ICMR scientists to initiate a multi-site case-control survey of steroid use and its side effects. Proper use of non-rebreather masks during oxygen therapy in covid patients helps reduce the risk of black yeast infection, an invasive disease that affects the nasal cavity, bones, eyes and brain with a high mortality rate.

Scientists have identified factors such as a low oxygen environment, diabetes, inappropriate doses and duration of glucocorticoid use, immunity problems and prolonged hospital stay with or without mechanical ventilation as being responsible development of mucormycosis in patients with covid-19.

The study was conducted at 11 sites to analyze archived records for the period January 1 to September 30, 2021. Cases and controls were recruited between June 15 and September 30 last year. Data was collected using a questionnaire. Of the 1,211 participants, 336 were covid-19 associated mucormycosis (CAM) cases, while 875 were covid-positive non-mucormycosis controls.

The study indicated that the odds of developing CAM were three times higher with the use of methylprednisolone compared to dexamethasone. “The main objective was to examine the monthly trend of CAM cases among hospitalized patients and to identify the factors associated with it. Mucormycosis is a fungal infection caused by mucorales. When steroids like dexamethasone and methylprednisolone were used inappropriately, it caused immunosuppression. In this case, the risks of fungal infection in covid-19 patients, who received the steroids, increased. Steroids should be used with caution,” said Dr. Samiran Panda, former additional director of ICMR and one of the study’s authors.

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