Three cases of black fungus recorded in Sulaimani: official

A combined picture of several girls wearing masks walk in Sulaimani downtown (L) and two healthcare workers are pictured at a coronavirus center in Sulaimani

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Three cases of black fungus were recorded in Sulaimani, authorities said on Thursday.

Deputy director of Health in Sulaimani Hersh Said Salim said those who have been infected by Mucormycosis had been diagnosed with coronavirus and suffered from diabetes.

“They have had uncontrolled diabetes, their immunity was low and they were over 70 years,” he told Esta Media Network.

“They received a large amount of steroids when they were infected by the coronavirus,” he noted.

The directorate of health in Sulaimani has opened a special unit to treat those infected by black fungus in the province, according to Salim.

In June, an Iraqi man died of the disease in Sulaimani. Four other cases and two more deaths were reported in Dhi Qar province.

Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, is a fungal infection that causes blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.

The disease has a close link to diabetes, and conditions which compromise the immune system. Experts have said that an overuse during the COVID-19 pandemic of certain drugs which suppress the immune system could be causing the surge.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that mucormycosis has a mortality rate of 54%, which can vary depending on the condition of the patients and the body part affected.

The disease is not contagious, which means that it cannot spread from contact between humans or animals. But it does spread from fungal spores that are present in the air or in the environment, which are almost impossible to avoid.

Low oxygen, diabetes, high iron levels, immuno-suppression, coupled with several other factors including prolonged hospitalization with mechanical ventilators, creates an ideal milieu for contracting mucormycosis, researchers wrote in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, according to Reuters.

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