As cases of mucormycosis or black fungus are rising in India amid a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic, Twitter is being flooded with SOS requests for a particular anti-fungal drug called, ‘Amphotericin B’. Earlier, the cries that were mostly restricted to oxygen, ICU beds, Remdesvir, oxygen beds etc have one more new drug in their addition, as the scare of this new deadly is being reported from across the country.
Doctors are suggesting that mucormycosis is being increasingly reported in patients who are recovering from covid-19 infection. The disease is also known as zygomycosis. According to the CDC (Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention), this rare but critical fungal infection is caused by a group of molds known as mucormycetes. These molds are present naturally in the environment. However, it affects humans when the body’s immunity system has been weakened and it is vulnerable. It affects the lungs and the sinuses following inhalation of fungal spores from the air. The fungus can also enter the body through open wounds or cuts.
A surge in black fungus cases in Delhi, Maharashtra had called for a higher demand for the ‘Amphotericin B’ medication, that is used to treat fungal infections.
The Press Information Bureau, Maharastra took to Twitter to report that union minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya has reviewed the requirement and supply of ‘Amphotericin B’ for treatment against mucormycosis.
According to doctors, ‘misuse of steroids’ is a major cause behind this infection. “Chances of fungal infection increase in the patients who are diabetic, Covid positive and those who are taking steroids. To prevent it, we should stop the misuse of steroids,” said AIIMS Director Dr Guleria to Indian Express.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has suggested doctors monitor covid-19 patients for early detection of the fungal infection that includes sinus pain or nasal blockage on one side of the face, one-sided headache, swelling or numbness, toothache and loosening of teeth to guard against black fungus infections.
As many as 52 people have died due to Mucormycosis, in Maharashtra since the COVID-19 outbreak last year, a senior health department official said on Friday.
In view of surging black fungus cases, the Madhya Pradesh government on Saturday set up step-down units in Bhopal for recovered Covid-19 patients where their post-recovery health status will be examined by a team of doctors and nurses. One of these post-Covid-19 care centres was inaugurated by State Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang in the Ashoka Garden area in the old city. “Those who are in need of a low amount of oxygen will be kept here and will recover under experts’ supervision. Patients who recovered from Covid-19 have reported a number of complications. This is why these centres have been made,” he said.
On Monday, a 36-year-old COVID-19 patient has died of mucormycosis or black fungus at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Uttarakhand, according to hospital officials, marking the state’s first fatality from the fungal infection. The man died as he was in an inoperable condition, the officials said.
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