New Delhi: After black fungus, an infection has come into recognition in four Covid-19 recovered patients in Pune in the last three months, raising concerns among the health union. Prabhakar, 66 complained of severe lower back pain and mild fever after a month from recovering. He was treated unobtrusively with muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs (nonsteroidal) without relief.
Medically termed aspergillus osteomyelitis, the fungal infection is hard to diagnose as it imitates spinal tuberculosis. Such fungal infection has been noticed in mouth cavities of coronavirus recovered patients. In rare cases, the fungal infection has been detected in the lungs. “We diagnosed vertebral osteomyelitis caused by aspergillus fungi species in four patients in three months. Prior to this, aspergillus vertebral osteomyelitis had not been documented in post-Covid patients in India,” Parikshit Prayag, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital infection diseases expert stated.
The common thing between the four was that they had critical Covid and were further treated with steroids to get over Covid pneumonia. “Long-term use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of opportunistic infections, depending on the underlying disease being treated and what other drugs are being used,” he stated.
Prayag had diagnosed the first patient with this new fungus, aspergillus vertebral osteomyelitis three months ago. “We picked up the fourth case this month. All four patients are undergoing treatment,” he said.