Deadly "black fungus" infecting Covid survivors in India

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Mucormycosis is a deadly fungal infection and treatment often requires the removal of the eyes of patients. Doctors believe ubiquitous mucor mould becomes deadly when a patient's immunity is weakened by coronavirus and the steroids used to treat the virus.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Doctors in hospital, discussing spike on monitor chart, start sequence of forest floor
2. Fungus spores rise from forest floor into air, hiker breathes it in, show sinus path
3. Show fungus growing in hiker's sinuses, eyes, brain, then lungs
4. Coronavirus patient in hospital, injected with steroids
5. Patient recovers, leaves hospital, comes back later, complaining of headache
6. Back in hospital bed, sick, fungus spores around his head, black marks, dies


VOICEOVER (in English):
The BBC reports that surgeons in India are reporting a sharp increase in the number of mucormycosis cases in patients who survived Covid-19.

Mucormycosis is a rare fungal infection that is caused by exposure to mucor mould; which is commonly found in soil, plants, and even in the mucus of healthy people.

It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs, and can be life-threatening in diabetics or people with weakened immune systems.

The infection has a frightening mortality rate of 50%, and often requires the removal of an eye or sinus tissues.

Diabetics who survived coronavirus are especially at risk. Some doctors believe that's because diabetes lowers the body's immune defences, then coronavirus exacerbates the problem, and then steroids — which help fight coronavirus — acts like fuel to the fire.

Steroids reduce inflammation in the lungs for Covid-19 and limit the damage. But they also reduce immunity in both diabetic and non-diabetic Covid-19 patients.

It is thought that this drop in immunity could be triggering India's spike in mucormycosis cases.

SOURCES: BBC, India Today, Hindustan Times
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-57027829
https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/maharashtra-2000-black-fungus-cases-states-report-mucormycosis-deaths-1801655-2021-05-12
https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/surge-in-mucormycosis-cases-maharashtra-sets-up-task-force-101620847547755.html