Black fungus patient count rises to 338

Black fungus patient count rises to 338

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12

The number of mucormycosis cases in the city hospitals has climbed to 338, with the PGI holding the maximum load of 259 patients.

Post-Covid care

Mucormycosis has been diagnosed even as late as 42 to 90 days in patients who have recovered from Covid infection. Individuals recuperating from Covid-19 should, therefore, ensure stringent personal hygiene. Post-Covid, individuals should be housed in a well-ventilated location rather than in a damp environment. They should stay away from decaying organic matters and avoid visit to places like construction sites.

Another tertiary care hospital in the city – Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has 75 cases of mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus.

Out of the total 338 cases, 38 are from Chandigarh. Eighteen patients have succumbed to the fungal infection so far. Meanwhile, Dr Sanjay Badada, Department of Endocrinology, PGI, has warned against the rampant use of multivitamins.

“The rampant use of multivitamins, containing zinc and iron as immunity boosters that can lead to increased free-iron levels, should not be encouraged,” Dr Badada has mentioned in a latest research paper.

“Voriconazole, often used to prevent opportunistic systemic fungal infections, is ineffective against mucorales and can lead to mucormycosis infections,” the research paper added. Dr Badada also suggested: “Glucocorticoid-induced immunosuppression, hyperglycemia and lymphopenia predispose the pathogenesis of mucormycosis.”

“Injudicious use of glucocorticoids (steroids) in Covid-19 cases without hypoxemia (low oxygen level) or the utilisation of higher doses of glucocorticoids should be avoided whenever possible,” he pointed out.

The paper titled “Intercepting the deadly trinity of mucormycosis, diabetes and Covid-19 in India” also suggested that a high index of clinical suspicion should be kept for mucormycosis, not only in patients being treated for Covid-19 but also in those who had recovered from the viral infection.

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