In Oman, fungal infection detected in some COVID-19 patients
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Oman announced Tuesday that its doctors have detected a potentially fatal fungal infection afflicting some coronavirus patients, the first such known cases on the Arabian Peninsula as the sultanate faces a surge in COVID-19 infections that has swamped its hospitals.
The country's Health Ministry reported that three COVID-19 patients in Oman have become infected with mucormycosis, a life-threatening condition commonly known as “black fungus,” which has spread quickly among virus patients in hard-hit India. It wasn’t immediately clear what condition the three patients were in.
Although the disease remains relatively rare, its sudden increase has stirred fears among doctors and health officials struggling to combat COVID-19 surges around the world.
Omani doctors warned earlier this week that the sultanate faces an acute shortage of beds amid the proliferation of highly transmissible coronavirus variants, a sputtering vaccine rollout and relaxed movement restrictions. That medical workers complained about the dire shortfalls on state TV underscored the extent of the health crisis in Oman, where media is tightly controlled. Omani authorities said the infectious delta variant, first detected in India, is coursing through the Gulf Arab state.
Oman’s cases have more than tripled in the past month, with authorities recording over 2,000 new cases and 33 deaths on Tuesday. Severe and critical cases have hit record highs in recent weeks and overwhelmed hospitals have been forced to turn away patients. Meanwhile, just 8.5% of Oman’s roughly 5 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with skepticism running deep in many provinces.
The fungal condition first prompted global concern as India battled its devastating second wave...