In the wake of an alarming rise in the number of mucormycosis cases, a fungal infection commonly known as 'Black Fungus', in Gujarat, the state government has ordered 5,000 Amphotericin-B injections worth Rs 3.12 crore for treatment of patients.
'Black Fungus' has been seen as a post-coronavirus complication seen in COVID survivors and has been on the rise in Gujarat, crossing the 100-mark. The state government has also set up separate wards for the treatment of 'Black Fungus' cases in all civil hospitals, especially in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar Rajkot, Surat, and Vadodara.
As per an India Today report on Friday, at least eight COVID-19 survivors have lost their eyesight in Gujarat's Surat due to 'Black Fungus'. In the last fortnight, Surat has registered at least 40 cases of the fungal infection.
'Black Fungus' is treatable but if left untreated or if the treatment is delayed, it can result in loss of vision, and in some cases death too.
What is mucormycosis or 'Black Fungus'?
As per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mucormycosis or 'Black Fungus' is a rare fungal infection caused by a group of mold or fungi called mucormycetes, which live throughout the environment. This condition generally affects the sinuses or the lungs after breathing in fungal spores from the air. Mucormycosis or 'Black Fungus' can also occur on the skin after a burn, cut, or other types of skin injuries.
8 'Black Fungus' deaths reported in Maharashtra
At least eight COVID-19 survivors have died due to 'Black Fungus' in Maharashtra during treatment, PTI reported, adding that approx. 200 patients are currently being treated in the stated.
According to Dr. Tatyarao Lahane, who heads the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), cases of 'Black Fungus' are on the rise.
"Eight out of 200 such patients treated so far in various parts of the state have died due to mucormycosis, also known as a black fungus. They survived COVID-19 infection but the fungal infection attacked their weak immune system which proved fatal," Dr. Lahane said.
Addressing a Union Health Ministry media briefing on Friday, Niti Aayog Member (Health) Dr. VK Paul said mucormycosis is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces.
He had also said when the same COVID-19 patient is put on oxygen support, which has a humidifier containing water, the chances of him or her getting the fungal infection increase.