Dr. Homayoun Sameyeh-Najafabadi, a pharmacologist and the representative of the Jewish community in Iranian parliament since 2020, said recently that there are 500 cases of mucormycosis, a life-threatening disease commonly known as the “black fungus,” in Iran.
Speaking on state television, Sameyeh-Najafabadi said that the rise in cases stems from the use of corticosteroid treatment for COVID patients and cases have been documented in several provinces, including Tehran.
“Black fungus” is a rare but serious infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes that generally affect those who are immunocompromised. The infection affects the sinuses and facial bones and can cause sight loss or brain damage. Black fungus has a 50% mortality rate if left untreated.
Since May, thousands of black fungus cases have been confirmed among recovered coronavirus patients in India and it is now spreading in Iran.
Last month, Behrouz Kalidari, the deputy director of treatment at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, told the Iranian Metropolis News Agency (IMNA) that over 40 children were diagnosed with black fungus at Imam Hossein Hospital and three at the university’s hospital in Isfahan.
He added that doctors had to remove parts of an eight-year-old patient’s cheeks and eye in order to save his life. “The more people we have with immunodeficiency conditions, the more that opportunistic viruses such as black fungi are likely to spread,” he said.
Dr Saleh Mohebi, an official of Tehran’s Rasoul Akram Hospital, said last month that 30% of COVID patients who developed black fungus died of it, while 50% had responded to anti-fungal treatment, and 20% had undergone surgery to remove the affected area, usually eyes.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)