Fears have been sparked after cases of deadly black fungus from the Indian COVID variant have been found outside India.
Medics in Chile reported a case of virus-related fungus, with scientists in Uruguay logging a patient there suffering with the condition.
The Chilean Society of Infectology said: “Cases of fungal infections have been detected since the start of the pandemic but the frequency has increased and serious cases have risen.”
India, which is being ravaged by variants, is battling hundreds of black fungus infections.
About 750 patients in Delhi have been recorded, and more than 50 deaths.
The rare condition is caused by molds known as mucromycetes which can kill people whose immune systems are weak.
When the spores – which occur naturally in the environment — are breathed in, they attack the lungs and sinuses before spreading to the face and the brain.
Mucormycosis causes blurred or double vision, chest pain and breathing difficulties.
It is thought the condition has