Adding to the woes caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a new fungal infection called Mucormycosis, commonly known as Black Fungus is being reported among those infected or recovered from Covid across the nation. According to the official records, no cases of Black Fungus were reported in Vizag. However, it has come to light, that there have been suspected cases of the deadly fungus at private hospitals in the city.
The demand for Liposomal Amphotericin B injections, used to treat Mucormycosis, has led to a shortage of the drug in the city and triggered black marketeering. Even some serious patients are unable to get the injection.
Interacting with Yo! Vizag, the families of the victims shared their ordeal. Sharing his story, a resident of Vizag, said, “My parents tested positive for Covid a few weeks ago. After they recovered from the infection, the doctors informed that they were infected with Black Fungus. While my father succumbed to the fungal infection, my mother is fighting for her life. She needs Liposomal Amphotericin B 50 mg vials for immediate treatment. Unfortunately, the medicine is not available in the market and we are trying to get it from other states.”
“My mother contracted Covid and we treated her at home. After she recovered, we witnessed symptoms of black fungus and admitted her to a private hospital. Her samples (from eyes) were extracted and forwarded for further testing. The doctors said that it is likely to be a case of Black Fungus and will be confirmed after the test results,” said another individual, whose mother is at the hospital with suspected Black Fungus.
According to an advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Covid patients with conditions uncontrolled diabetes, weakening of immune system due to use of steroids, prolonged ICU/hospital stay, co-morbidities/post organ transplant/cancer, and voriconazole therapy (used to treat serious fungal infections) are at the risk of contracting the disease. Some of the patients who are infected with suspected Black Fungus are allegedly displaying symptoms including blurry vision, swollen eye, and blood clots from nose, and mouth.
Speaking to Yo!, Andhra Medical College (AMC) Principal, Dr PV Sudhakar, informed, “So far there have been no cases of Black Fungus reported at the King George Hospital (KGH) in Vizag. As of now, we haven’t received information from any other hospitals reporting such cases. If the fungus is not treated by either surgery or drug, it may cause loss of vision or spread of the virus to the lungs or brain.”