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Rhinoorbital mucormycosis in COVID-19 pandemic: presentation and course of disease: An observational study

Maya Sharma, Seema Rajvanshi, Sunita Khurana, Rajkumar Arora

Abstract: During the second wave of covid 19[SARS- Co V-] pandemic, there is a sudden increase in number of mucormycosis infection cases in India. The present study is an attempt to understand the presentation, course and outcome of rhinoorbital mucormycosis in a group of patients who reported to Ophtalmology and Otorhinolaryngology department of our Govt. District Hospital (secondary referral centre) for enhancing measures for prevention and management. Patients who reported to our Government district hospital with signs or symptoms suggestive of rhino orbital mucormycosis during May-June 2021 were included in the study with consent of ethical committee, patients and patient’s relatives. Total 17 cases were reported and followed. Clinical examination was done for all the patients. History of the presenting complaints and underlying illness with COVID -19 was elicited. Underlying comorbid status was recorded. Patients were followed as all of them were referred to higher centre for further management as per the guidelines issued by directorate medical and health services, rajasthan, Jaipur.13(76.4%) patients were from rural and 4 (23.5%) were from urban area. 11(64.7%) patients had RT-PCR +ve, 6 had RT-PCR _ve, 2 did not have RT-PCR report. 15(88.7%) patients had high blood sugar at presentation mean being 315.7mg%. 9 (52.9%) developed mucormycosis during their treatment for COVID in hospital. 8(47.05%) presented in OPD. 9 patients had treatment with inhalational Owhile 8 patients did not have treatment with O Death rate was high (70.5%) among our patients. Patients who survived (29.4%) had only initial symptoms and signs at presentation therefore could be managed earlier. None of our patient had vaccination for COVID. Our study was done at secondary referral centre, all the previous studies were done at tertiary referral centres; therefore it shows the course of disease mainly among rural population ; most of them presented very late and had poor outcomes. It shows the need of more awareness about COVID and mucormycosis among people especially in rural areas. High blood sugar either due to treatment with steroids or pre existing is a major risk factor for Rhino orbital mucormycosis. Being RT- PCR negative for COVID 19 does not rule out the associated possible complication of Rhino orbital mucormycosis. Early diagnosis and management remains the key factor for managing Rhino orbital mucormycosis.

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