Black fungus has reportedly claimed 52 lives in Maharashtra
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. Mucormycosis, also known as Black fungus, occurs in recovering and recovered coronavirus patients, whose symptoms include headache, fever, pain under the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion, and partial loss of vision.
State has around 1,500 cases of the fungal infection
"For the first time, the state health department has compiled a list of deaths caused by the black fungus," said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity. On Wednesday, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said there were 1,500 cases of black fungus in the state, which is in the throes of a severe second wave of COVID-19.
Government working to increase production of anti-fungal drug
Rising Mucormycosis cases, whose treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach, are expected to put a further burden on the state's healthcare infrastructure which has deployed all its resources to combat COVID-19. The state will float a tender to procure one lakh Amphotericin-B anti-fungal injections to treat Mucormycosis patients, Tope had said a couple of days back.
Cases weren't being mapped as it isn't a notified disease
Mucormycosis was not a notified disease like malaria and hence its cases were not mapped and a database was not prepared. With the rise in COVID-19 cases and preliminary reports of growing infection of black fungus, the state started creating a database. This exercise revealed the death of 52 people due to the black fungus infection, the official said.
Patients with weak immune system, diabetes more prone to infection
As per health experts, Mucormycosis is mostly found among COVID-19 patients who have diabetes, fluctuation in sugar level, or increased iron level in the blood. To treat Mucormycosis patients, the Maharashtra government has decided to set up separate wards at hospitals attached to 18 medical colleges. At least eight patients in Maharashtra have lost vision in one eye due to Mucormycosis.