8,800+ Black fungus cases in India. 60% from three states
Nearly 9,000 cases of mucormycosis or Black fungus - a rare but potentially fatal fungal infection - have been detected across India, according to the central government's data released today. Almost 60 percent of these cases have been reported from just three states - Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The government has now allocated over 23,000 vials of the infection drug to the states.
Gujarat accounts for 2,281 Black fungus infections. The western state is followed by Maharashtra, which has 2,000 cases, and Andhra Pradesh (910). Haryana (250), Karnataka (500), Madhya Pradesh (720), Rajasthan (700), Telangana (350), and Delhi (197) are also severely affected. The Centre has sent 23,680 vials of Amphotericin- B - the drug used in Black fungus treatment - to states.
"After a detailed review of rising number of cases of #Mucormycosis in various states, a total of 23,680 additional vials of #Amphotericin- B have been allocated to all States/UTs today," Sadananda Gowda, the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, tweeted today. "The allocation has been made based on total number of patients which is approximately 8,848 across country," Gowda added.
After a detailed review of rising no. of cases of #Mucormycosis in various states, a total of 23680 additional vials of #Amphotericin- B have been allocated to all States/UTs today.— Sadananda Gowda (@DVSadanandGowda) May 22, 2021
The Allocation has been made based on total no. of patients which is approx. 8848 across country. pic.twitter.com/JPsdEHuz0W
Meanwhile, two rare cases of Black fungus of the small intestine have been detected at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi. Both the patients have had COVID-19 and are diabetic, however, only one of them had received steroids during treatment, according to news agency ANI. Both the patients are male and aged 56 and 68 years, respectively.
The rise in Black fungus cases across the country has been triggered by the massive surge in coronavirus cases this year. In view of the spike, the central government has asked states to notify it under the Epidemic Diseases Act, so that its spread can be better controlled. At least 11 pharmaceutical companies have been allowed to make drugs meant for Black fungus treatment.
Recently, several cases of another rare infection called "white fungus" have also been reported in Patna, Bihar. Experts say it is even more dangerous than Black fungus. The infection can affect the lungs, stomach, kidney, and brain. It can be diagnosed through CT-Scan or X-ray.
Mucormycosis is caused by a group of moulds known as mucormycetes. These fungi are naturally present in the environment, but they typically affect people who are on medication for certain health problems, which essentially weakens their immune system. Experts say misuse of steroids among coronavirus patients and use of contaminated water in oxygen therapy humidifiers may also be responsible for the infection.