Last Thursday, the Oaxaca Health Secretariat reported two covid-19 patients also infected, according to the first studies, with black fungus. This Sunday the health services of that State have confirmed the death of one of them, a 55-year-old man, although they are still not in a position to link the death to the rhinocerebral mucormycosis disease. The first person suspected of contracting the black fungus in Mexico died earlier this month after spending a week in hospital.
Gregorio Avendaño Jiménez was younger, he was 34 years old, but he did not survive despite several surgeries. The health authorities did not confirm the diagnosis of mucormycosis in that case either. The disease affects the vulnerable immune system, as it sometimes occurs in coronavirus patients, and like other illnesses, it should not be required to notify the Ministry of Health.
Symptoms of a fungal infection are headaches, small dark spots on the face, or facial paralysis. The UNAM specialist, Edith Sánchez Paredes, explained that although it is a low-incidence mycosis, it is one of the most lethal infections of these characteristics: the mortality rate stands at 90% and it devastates the body, affecting skin, muscles, bones and other organs. “It is a mycosis that is considered to be of rapid evolution, once the patient begins with the first signs and symptoms, it may be that in a week he may have affection in all the symptoms and that it leads him to death,” the expert maintained.
EL PAÍS spoke with a survivor of the disease, Jaime Díaz de León. His testimony is terrifying. Originally from the city of Delicias, in the State of Chihuahua, this man began to manifest the first symptoms of the coronavirus in October of last year. “I could not breathe, my voice was falling, I was walking 100 meters and I was totally tired,” he said. He was hospitalized and the paramedics continuously supplied him with oxygen for two weeks.
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