Delhi: Mucormycosis, a fungal infection whose mortality rate is as high as 50% when it affects the brain, was noticed in more than a dozen patients within a fortnight of their recovery from Covid, claimed Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi.

According to the doctors, the fungal infection causes loss of eyesight, removal of the nose and jaw bone and 50% mortality, where there is brain involvement.

The ENT and eye doctors at the hospital conducted resection procedures in at least 10 patients during the last 15 days, with about 50% of them losing their eyesight permanently. While five of the patients required critical care support, due to other associated complications, five of them succumbed to the fungus infection, as per the official version of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, reported by news agency ANI.

This alarming affliction, although rare, is not new. What is new is Covid-19 triggering mucormycosis, they said.

Black Fungus or mucormycosis has been a cause of disease and death of patients in transplants, and ICU and immunodeficient individuals since long.

However, it is the rapid increase in the numbers seen in unsuspected recovering COVID-19 patients that is causing the grave concern, the SGRH said in a statement.

"In the last 15 days, ENT surgeons have seen 13 cases of COVID-19-triggered mucormycosis in over 50 per cent patients, with loss of eyesight, and removal of nose and jaw bone needed," it said.

Mortality is currently being seen in the range of 50% (five patients), with certain deaths when there is involvement of the brain, the hospital authorities said.