Though Delhi has only a few active cases of mucormycosis, hospitals in the national capital have seen a rise in the numbers of patients who have reported recurrence of the fungal infection after being cured of it.
There is no particular age group in which these cases are being reported, but a common feature is that the majority of those who are reporting recurrence are diabetic.
Hospitals such as Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, which handled the majority of mucormycosis caseload during its peak, recently reported cases of recurrence.
"One patient who was earlier treated for mucormycosis is suffering from the same fungal infection. It might have occurred because of two possibilities, either due to the relapse or because of the residual components of the earlier problem. His blood sugar level is also very high and this patient stopped insulin in between," Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of LNJP, told ANI.
Explaining the reason behind this, Dr Ajay Swaroop, Chairman, ENT, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said that either these patients did not take the full course of the medicine or did not come for their post-operative follow-up.
"Fortunately we are not getting active cases of mucormycosis. However, old cases either have a residual disease which means the disease has not been not totally taken care of or some patients are coming with the disease in the area which was treated and now, unfortunately, they have developed mucormycosis in another area. These are the types of cases we are seeing now," he said.
"The reason why patients are coming back is either they have not taken the full course of the medicine or have not come for their post-operative follow-up and hence cleaning was not done properly. Lastly, from the nose or sinuses it has shifted or skipped to other sites like the eyes, or in the mandible itself," he added.
Mucormycosis, also known as Black Fungus, is an infection from the mucormycetes group of fungi and is abundantly found in natural environments, especially in soil. It affects people, particularly those with low immunity.
Treatment for mucormycosis, in any case, is standard and consists of surgical removal of the disease, amphotericin B in proper dosage and Posaconazole.