Cases of mucormycosis or “black fungus” — which is a rare fungal infection that has emerged in India because of COVID-19 — are on the rise again among coronavirus patients.

The New York Times reports there have been 30,000 cases of mucormycosis in recent weeks, and 2,100 people have died from the illness in India.

  • “The deadly disease has sickened former coronavirus patients across the country, and doctors believe that hospitals desperate to keep COVID-19 patients alive made choices that left them vulnerable,” The New York Times reports.
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India’s population — which hasn’t seen a huge vaccine rollout — remains vulnerable to more coronavirus outbreaks and more “black fungus” cases, according to The New York Times.

  • “Mucormycosis will tail off and go back to baseline as the COVID cases subside,” Dr. Dileep Mavalankar, an epidemiologist, told The New York Times. “But it may come back in the third wave unless we find out why it is happening.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the infection comes from a mold that lives in a hospital environment that doesn’t hurt healthy people most of the time. But it has been on the rise in India where there has been a coronavirus outbreak.

  • “However, in those who have health problems, or take medications that lower the body’s ability to fight off germs and sickness, it could infect the sinuses or lungs when inhaled through the air or on injured skin,” according to Fox News.
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The Indian Council of Medical Research said patients who have been in the ICU for a long time due to COVID-19 are at risk of getting infected.

  • “The rare but deadly infection can kill and maim patients, with some COVID sufferers losing their upper jaws and eyes after contracting it,” Bloomberg reports.

University of Queensland professor of medicine Paul Griffin said the recent coronavirus outbreak in India “tipped the balance” and led to the fungus spreading more, according to Australia’s ABC.

  • “With the germ there in the background, it’s inevitable in a lot of ways we will see more cases (of mucormycosis) reported in India,” he said.