By Our Staff Reporter
Rishikesh, 19 May: A separate ward has been set up at AIIMS Rishikesh for the diagnosis of the highly contagious Mucormycosis (black fungus). Black fungus patients will be treated under the supervision of 15 specialist doctors from various departments.
According to Professor Ravikant, Director, AIIMS, mucormycosis is a fatal angioinvasive fungal infection. It enters the respiratory tract mainly through the nose. There is a need to start treatment at the right time.
PK Panda, Nodal Officer, Covid, said that the team of 15 member doctors will work to treat, prevent and to make the common people aware of the disease. Dr Amit Tyagi, ENT Surgeon and Head of the team, added that a separate ward had been created to treat patients with Mucormycosis. It has CCU beds, HDU beds and other necessary resources available.
It is worth noting that 40 cases of black fungus have been reported in AIIMS, so far. Of these, 2 patients died during treatment. One patient has been discharged and 39 patients remain hospitalised.
The major symptoms of Mucormycosis include high fever, nasal congestion, headache, eye pain, impaired vision, redness in the eyes, bleeding from the nose, black tint inside the nose, loose teeth, jaw problems and chest pain. This disease is seen more in those who have diabetes.
Those in high risk are Covid-19 patients who have been undergoing treatment for more than 6 weeks;
uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, chronic granulomatous disease, HIV, AIDS, or primary immunodeficiency states. Also, immunosuppression by steroids (use of any dose for 3 weeks or higher doses for 1 week), prolonged neutropenia, trauma, burns, drug abuse, long stay in ICU, malignancy Post-Transplant, Voriconazole therapy, deferoxamine or other iron overloading therapy,
contaminated adhesive dust, sawdust, building construction and hospital linen are also causes. Renal failure, diarrhea and malnutrition in low birth weight infants, even children and adults, also trigger the problem.
Prevention and precautions include staying away from rotting organic materials like bread, fruits, vegetables, soil, manure and feces and keeping the environment clean. Control of hyperglycemia, glucose monitoring in covid-19 patients requiring steroid therapy, right timing of initiation, right dose and right duration, use clean and pure water for a humidifiers during oxygen therapy; use of antibiotics and antifungals only when indicated are required.
All cases with closed nose should not be treated as cases of bacterial sinusitis. Medicine, ENT doctors and ophthalmologists should be consulted when symptoms of mucor are felt.