Cases of mucormycosis, a critical however uncommon fungal an infection, are on the rise among COVID-19 survivors, inflicting blindness or different critical points, well being officers in Maharashtra and Gujarat mentioned on Saturday.
Mathur Savani, chairman of Surat-based Kiran Super Multi-speciality Hospital, mentioned mucormycosis sufferers are coming to his hospital from many elements of Gujarat.
“Fifty mucormycosis patients are being treated and 60 more are awaiting treatment,” Savani advised PTI.
Seven such sufferers misplaced their eyesight, he mentioned. The civil hospital in Surat has set up a facility for such sufferers, mentioned in-charge Resident Medical Officer Dr Ketan Naik.
In Ahmedabad, no less than 5 mucormycosis sufferers are being operated upon day by day on the Asarva civil hospital, a senior physician mentioned.
“We get five to 10 such cases daily, especially since the second wave of COVID-19 started,” mentioned Dr Devang Gupta, ENT specialist on the hospital.
“At least one in five cases is related to eyes. Many are suffering from blindness,” he mentioned.
In Maharashtra, no less than eight COVID-19 survivors have misplaced imaginative and prescient in a watch as a consequence of mucormycosis and 200 others are being handled, mentioned Dr Tatyarao Lahane, who heads the state authorities’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research.
“They survived COVID-19 but the fungal infection attacked their weakened immune system,” he mentioned.
Dr Lahane earlier mentioned the eight COVID-19 survivors had died however later clarified that he mentioned so inadvertently. This illness will not be new however is on the rise among COVID-19 sufferers as a result of using steroids elevates sugar degree and a few medicines suppress the sufferers’ immunity, he mentioned.
“In such a situation, the fungus infects the patient easily. In one such case, one of the eyes of a patient had to be removed permanently to save his life,” Dr Lahane mentioned.
Also referred to as the black fungus, it’s current in the setting, and people with suppressed immunity or co-morbidities are extra susceptible to an infection, he mentioned.
Symptoms of mucormycosis embrace headache, fever, ache below the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion and partial lack of imaginative and prescient, Dr Lahane mentioned.
The therapy includes injections for 21 days. The primary price of the injections is round Rs 9,000 per day, he mentioned.
Dr Hetal Marfatia, professor and head of the ENT division on the government-run KEM hospital in Mumbai, mentioned a surge in mucormycosis cases is being witnessed in the final two weeks. “On average, two or three such patients are visiting the hospital every day,” he mentioned.
Many of those sufferers come from exterior Mumbai and can’t afford the therapy price, he mentioned.
This fungal an infection got here to mild through the first ‘wave’ of the pandemic, sometimes a few weeks after the affected person was discharged, Dr Marfatia mentioned.
“But now some patients are contracting this infection even while undergoing COVID-19 treatment,” he mentioned. Niti Aayog Member (Health) V Okay Paul on Friday had mentioned that mucormycosis cases have been being discovered in sufferers with COVID-19.
“It is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. It, to a large extent, is happening to people who have diabetes. It is very uncommon in those who are not diabetic. There is no big outbreak and we are monitoring it,” he had mentioned.
“When a patient is on oxygen support, it should be ensured that water does not leak from the humidifier (to prevent the growth of the fungus),” he mentioned, whereas additionally calling for “a rational usage” of steroids and medicines corresponding to Tocilizumab to deal with COVID-19 sufferers.