Black Fungus case in Odisha; see how it spreads

Bhubaneswar: As a case of Mucormycosis or black fungus disease has been detected in the Odisha Capital, people have been apprehensive about more such cases in the State.

The Health and Family Welfare Department stated that condition of the patient suffering from black fungus disease is stable. It further stated no such similar case has been reported elsewhere in the State.

This comes a day after a leading private hospital in Delhi flagged the rising number of COVID-triggered Mucormycosis or black fungus cases.

What is Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is a general term for infections caused by a group of filamentous fungi called mucorales (black fungus). Mucorales are commonly found throughout the environment and in decaying organic matter, soil, compost, and animal excreta; particularly in wet environment.

The situation is being monitored and the treatment for Mucormycosis is available.

The conditions like HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes mellituscancers , kidney failure, organ transplant, long-term corticosteroid and immunosuppressive therapy, increases the risk of this disease and the pre-disposing factor for most of the cases prior to Covid-19 pandemic. It is rare in persons with normal immunity.

As of 2021, steroids, Tocilizumab, Itolizumab etc. are used to reduce inflammation in the lungs for Covid-19. But they also reduce immunity and push up blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetic Covid-19 patients. It’s thought that this drop in immunity could be triggering factors in some cases of Mucormycosis. But still it is uncommon.

Head of the national Covid-19 taskforce Dr. VK Paul on May 7, 2021 in media release has clarified this issue and told that this is not a big outbreak at present.

Early detection, timely diagnosis and treatment are most important. The drugs required for treatment of this disease like amphotericin B or posaconazole are readily available.

“Whoever has diabetes needs to control the sugar level always. We are promoting the administration of steroids but they should not be given at the onset of COVID-19,” Paul stated.

Steroids should not be taken unnecessarily and can be given after the sixth day / when there will be oxygen requirement, only under prescription of a doctor.

Similarly, Tocilizumab and Itolizumab should only be decided when required as it can be dangerous.

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