While combating COVID-19, another challenge is paving ways in India. Black Fungus, a rare fungal infection is rising at an alarming rate in the country. India hasn’t even dealt with the second wave yet. Amid COVID-19 cases, this fungal infection is another issue that medical professionals are dealing with.
Which States have Reported Black Fungus Cases?
Black Fungus is reported in several regions throughout the country. Maharashtra reported the infection’s first instances. Later, various cases were reported from Karnataka also. Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand have also reported many cases. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, etc. have also witnessed several cases. Over 1500 patients are reported in Maharashtra so far. 90 people have lost their lives from the disease. Haryana has reported 226 cases. Telangana has witnessed 80 cases so far. High numbers also came from Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh.
Declared an Epidemic in the Several States
The Centre on Thursday asked the states to declare Black Fungus an epidemic. It is a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. The state governments are also requested to report all the confirmed cases. It is mandatory for all private and public hospitals to report suspected cases as well. Responding to the Centre, several states have declared the disease an epidemic. Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Gujrat and Chandigarh declared it as an epidemic on Thursday. Earlier, Rajasthan and Telangana had also declared the same.
What is Black Fungus?
Black Fungus, also known as mucormycosis, belongs to a group of moulds called ‘mucormycetes’. Its particles are present in the air, soil, etc. When an ill person inhales it, it causes various complications. From the nasal cavity, they spread into sinus cavities, chest, and lungs. However, Black Fungus is not new. But it has become more active in COVID-19 patients now.
Who is Contracting the Disease?
Firstly, Black Fungus is usually seen in COVID-19 recovered patients. Secondly, individuals who have defeated COVID-19, are contracting this disease. Thirdly, Covid patients undergoing oxygen therapy in ICU are more prone to the disease. Diabetic patients are more vulnerable to the disease. Steroid usage also leads to this fungal infection.
Symptoms of the Infection
All the symptoms are as follows:
- Skin infection in the air pockets behind the forehead, nose, cheekbones, between the eyes, and teeth.
- Formation of black crusts on the face.
- Swelling around the eyes and nasal passage.
- Swelling around the forehead, cheeks, and other facial parts
- Partial blindness/ vision loss
- Pulmonary infections
How is it Treated?
The Black Fungus is treated using antifungal medications. Its treatment requires a group of eye surgeons, ENT, general surgeons, dental surgeons, and neurosurgeons. Doctors are using Amphotericin-B injection to treat the disease.