The sudden surge of Black Fungus infections is primarily among patients who have severe diabetes or those Covid-19 patients who have been indiscriminately treated with steroids.
With several states reporting a large number of Coronavirus patients suffering from supplementary fungal infection mucormycosis, the central government has asked the state governments to report both suspected and confirmed cases of the infection. The Union Health Ministry in a significant decision notified the infection which means that the state governments now need to report the Black Fungus infection cases in their jurisdiction to the central government, the Indian Express reported.
The infection whose incidence has been traditionally confined to a very miniscule number of patients is now being reported in a large number of patients who have either recovered from Coronavirus or are suffering from both the infections simultaneously. The infection affects the lungs of patients who have inhaled the fungal spores from the air. The sudden surge of Black Fungus infections is primarily among patients who have severe diabetes or those Covid-19 patients who have been indiscriminately treated with steroids. Steroids which are being prescribed for the treatment of Coronavirus are understood to depress the immunity of the human body which leaves it vulnerable to infections and diseases like Black Fungus.
In his remarks on Thursday Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said that the lethal infection was also being reported among patients who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes. He further said that Covid-19 virus was entering in the pancreas of such patients and increasing the sugar levels aiding the development of Black Fungus.
According to a letter written to the state governments by the Health Ministry the treatment of the disease needs to involve a multi-disciplinary approach involving ENT specialists, general surgeons, Eye surgeons among others. With many rural areas of the country deprived of even a General physician, the spread of disease could compound already stretched medical infrastructure due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria had earlier said that doctors should avoid prescribing steroids to Covid-19 patients who do not need Oxygen therapy. Dr Guleria had also said that Diabetic patients should constantly monitor their blood sugar levels and keep them under control. Warning against loosening guard against Covid-19 pandemic, he further said that people should wear double face masks as the Black Fungus infection might spread from construction sites.
As far as the treatment of Black Fungus infection goes, the drug used to treat Black Fungus called amphotericin-B is in short supply in the country. The Delhi High Court taking cognisance of the shortage of the crucial drug has also directed the central government to impot the crucial drug until the domestic supplies of the drug are ramped up.