In J&K, Black Fungus a nightmare amid pandemic

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Patients having weak immune system, uncontrolled diabetes vulnerable to Mucormycosis; early detection key to prevent new disease, patients with diabetes must keep sugar level under control: Experts

Srinagar, May 21 (KNO): As Covid-19 pandemic is holding tight grip on J&K, Black Fungus—Mucormycosis— is emerging as another challenge for those who catch Caronavirus.

According to healthcare professionals, while as the Black Fungus was rare earlier but it is seen in many Covid patients nowadays across India posing a challenge for the government and medicos.

Dr Nisar Ul Hassan, Doctors Association President and flu expert while talking exclusively with news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that the magnitude of the Mucormycosis is severe and it has been already declared as epidemic and situation is alarming in different parts of India.

“This Fungus is knocking at our doors. If such cases were found last year, government should have made people aware so that they would have taken extra care in this regard,” he said. “An early detection of mucormycosis in highly suspicious cases of Covid-19 can prevent further complications and lead to best outcomes with reduced morbidity and mortality.”

He said that the complications of mucormycosis can be dire: “blindness, organ dysfunction, loss of body tissue and death.”

Dr Nisar said that cases of mucormycosis were found here before in those who were having uncontrolled diabetes but such cases were very rare. “In my 35 year medical career, I haven’t seen more than five such cases,” he said.

The black fungus is available in soil everywhere and it can found mostly at decaying foods, vegetables, fruit, dusty environment and construction sites, he said.

“It can be found in any health person but it only effects those who have weak immune system,” the medico said. Covid patients are immunocompromised and once they recover, they rejoice but they must take care that if any covid symptom is among them even after recovering that can be an indication of the deadly fungus

He added that covid patients, with uncontrolled diabetes and using steroid drugs becomes an excellent ground for Mucormycosis.

Dr Nisar said that the hospital environments along with gadgets must be kept clean as it can become a ground for fungus.

He said that early symptoms in Covid patients and recovered patients are sudden headache with which he/she wasn’t suffering before, pain around eye and in eye or cheeks, numbness, swelling on face or eye, loosening of tooth and toothache besides black fluid or crusts coming from nose or mouth.

He said that if the black fungus reaches eye it can make patient blind in no time and if it reaches brain then chances of survival are rare.

Dr Nisar said that from nose it can go to lungs and it is very difficult to differentiate from Covid from Mucormycosis and patients who have recovered from Covid must consult doctor if any Covid symptom is still prevalent there even after recovering.

He said that any tissue having black fungus must be taken out at an earliest and anti-fungal drugs must be started.

He added that prevention is not to get Covid, get vaccinated, if you are diabetic, monitor sugar level frequently and keep it under control and irrational use of steroid drugs must be stopped besides that sale of steroid without prescription must be banned.

Principal GMC Jammu Dr Shashi Sudan said that it is not a communicable disease and there is no need to panic and patients suffering from COVID-19 are immune compromised and are prone to black fungus.

“Steroids can increase blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. It can also increase blood sugar levels in people who do not have diabetes. This can happen because: the liver produces more sugar during steroid treatment,” she said—(KNO)

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