Doctors removed an eye of patient

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Hyderabad: Black Fungus is spreading fast in Telangana state. The ENT Hospital at Kothi which has been declared by the state as a model center for treating Black Fungus is full with patients.

Samaiah, 42, a farmer from Ambetpally, Mahadevpur Mandal of Bhupalpally district, Telangana, who tested Corona positive last month, had recovered after treatment at a private hospital of Warangal.

After a week from his discharge from the hospital, one of his eyes became red. He visited a hospital at Hanumkunda where he was advised to go to Hyderabad.

He visited a private hospital in Hyderabad where after checking him, the doctors diagnosed his condition as a Black Fungus case. They warned him that if not operated, the infection would spread in his body endangering his life.

The relatives of the farmer, mortgaged his 3 acre agricultural land and paid Rs.15 lakhs to the hospital as operation cost.

After removing his right eye, the doctors discharged Samaiah from the hospital three days ago and they prescribed medicines for him for 10 days at a cost of Rs.60,000 per day.

What is Black Fungus or Mucormycosis?

A report in “Firstpost” quoted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that this is a rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds known as mucormycetes.

It has been seen in countries like India and China, particularly among patients suffering from diabetes, cancer, or immune compromising conditions like HIV AIDS.

Now, COVID-19 survivors — especially those having co-morbid health issues like diabetes, heart and kidney ailments and cancer — have been found to be susceptible to the disease.

How does black fungus enter the body?

The underlying cause of the disease in India is the unhygienic way of delivering oxygen to patients in many places, combined with the indiscriminate use of steroids in the treatment of COVID.

How serious is black fungus?

The symptoms of black fungus/mucormycosis are pain/stuffiness in the nose, inflammation on cheeks, fungus patch inside the mouth and swelling in the eyelids.

Can black fungus spread from one person to another?

The disease is not contagious and doesn’t spread from one person to another.

What one should do if experience symptoms?

In case of symptoms, medical advice should be sought immediately. Doctors perform MRI and CT scan of the nasal cavity, sinuses and brain is performed, following which endoscopic evaluation of the nasal cavity can confirm a fungal lesion. All fungal and necrotic tissue is removed from the nasal cavity and medical management is carried out with antifungal drugs, namely injection Liposomal amphotericin-B.

Why India is at great risk?

Mucormycosis has a high mortality rate and was already present in India before the pandemic. The fungal infection preys on patients with weakened immune systems and underlying conditions, particularly diabetes, and irrational usage of steroids, the experts say. Both these factors are prevalent in India, which is witnessing a devastating second wave of coronavirus.

Which states have been most affected by the disease?

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra are among the states highly affected by black fungus infections. Maharashtra tops the list among affected states with 2,000 black fungus cases.

Have other countries also reported cases of black fungus?

India is not the only country facing the crisis, even as it accounts for 71 percent of the total cases worldwide.

Pakistan and Russia are also seeing a surge in black fungus infections.

Russia confirmed reports of black fungus among the COVID patients on May 17, though ruling out a possibility of a person-to-person spread. It has claimed that the situation is in control.