Nation hit with Black Fungus Epidemic amidst Covid Second Wave
Mucormycosis: the black fungus hitting Covid-19 patients
TNI Bureau: Following an increase in deadly “black fungus” cases, Indian states should declare an epidemic, according to the country’s health authorities. Mucormycosis, a normally rare infection, has a 50% mortality rate, with a few only being saved by removing an eye or jaw bone.
However, thousands of cases involving recovered and recovering Covid-19 patients have been reported in India in recent months. According to figures shared by officials in 13 states and Union territories with HT, at least 219 people have died as a result of mucormycosis.
Mucormycosis is an extremely uncommon infection. Exposure to mucor mold, which is often present in the soil, plants, manure, and rotting fruits and vegetables, causes it. According to Dr. Akshay Nair, a Mumbai-based eye surgeon, “It is ubiquitous and found in soil and air and even in the nose and mucus of healthy people.”
It affects the sinuses, the brain, and the lungs, and it can be fatal in diabetics or those with extremely impaired immune systems, such as cancer patients or persons with HIV/AIDS. According to ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava, these conditions are influenced by fungal spores, which are common in the environment.
Doctors believe there is a connection between the steroids used to treat Covid. Diabetics are especially vulnerable, with doctors telling the BBC that it appears to strike a patient 12 to 15 days after recovery.
At least 7,250 people have already been confirmed to have mucormycosis in India, but the actual spread could be much larger, and authorities in several states have now issued an alert about the rare life-threatening disease that is rapidly spreading all across the country as a Covid-19 comorbidity.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry, wrote to India’s 29 states on Thursday, requesting that it be declared an epidemic. As a result, the ministry will be able to more carefully monitor what is happening in each state, allowing for better treatment integration.
Last Monday, Maharashtra’s health minister, Rajesh Tope, reported the state had 1,500 instances of the virus, making it one of the worst-hit in India’s second wave of Covid-19. One hospital in the country’s metropolis, Mumbai, told the BBC that it had seen 24 instances in two months, compared to six in the previous year.
Although numerous Indian enterprises make Amphotericin B, the medicine used to treat mucormycosis, the increase in cases has resulted in a scarcity of the medicine. In desperation, families have turned to the illegal market. Several states are scurrying to secure supplies for the life-saving pharmaceuticals needed for it, and a Union minister vowed that manufacture will be increased. According to the Union government’s attorneys before the Delhi High Court, which ordered the Centre to provide a report on the efforts taken to import medication for it.
The Centre’s counsels, Kirtiman Singh and Amit Mahajan informed the court that 3,150 vials were provided to the Capital in three tranches between May 11 and May 20 according to the caseload. In response, senior advocate Rahul Mehra of the Delhi government stated that the expected weekly need was 15,000 vials.