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Coronavirus

Spread of 'black fungus' adds to India's COVID woes

Modi calls disease 'new challenge' but drug shortage dims outlook

NEW DELHI -- Already grappling with a deadly second wave of the coronavirus, India is now faced with a new challenge: an alarming rise in cases of mucormycosis, a rare but potentially fatal infection also known as black fungus.

The fungal disease -- which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says has a fatality rate of 54% -- has been reported among several thousand people, mostly diabetics recovering or having recovered from COVID-19. Several Indian states have declared black fungus an epidemic, prompting calls for the national government to stockpile the drug used in its treatment.

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