ICMR study reveals 3.6% of hospitalized Covid patients diagnosed with bacterial, fungal infections


Just as cases of black fungus are being reported in Covid-19 patients during the second wave of the pandemic, secondary bacterial and fungal infections affected at least 3.6% (ranging from 1.7% to 28% between hospitals) of the hospitalised patient with coronavirus disease (Covid-19) during the last wave, found a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) published on Monday.

The mortality in patients with these secondary infections increased to 56.7% as against 10.6% among the hospitalised patients in the ten network hospitals from where data was collected. The mortality in those with secondary infections was as high as 78.9% in one of the hospitals, the data shows.

“What we found was that most of these secondary infections, 78% of them, were acquired at the hospital; the indication for infections started two days after hospitalisation and most of the samples had gram-negative bacteria showing that they were hospital-based infections. This could be because infection control policies at the hospitals went for a toss amidst the pandemic. Hand hygiene wasn’t as good because of double gloving and use of PPE kits in the hot weather also added to it,” said Dr Kamini Walia, corresponding author of the paper and scientist with the epidemiology and communicable diseases department at the (ICMR).

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