Black Fungus Menace: CMHO oblivious to 4 cases reported in Manasa village of Nimar district

NEEMUCH: As deadly second wave of Covid-19 ravages the country; the doctors are now reporting cases involving a rare infection - also called the "black fungus" - among recovering and recovered Covid-19 patients.

Four such cases were reported in small Manasa tehsil of Neemuch district in Madhya Pradesh. However, it was discovered that chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Mahesh Malviya is unaware about these cases cases even after the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed concern about Black Fungus infection while chairing a high-level meet in Bhopal on fresh challenges faced by Covid patients.

Meanwhile, one out of four patients undergone treatment at Indore and is now recovering from the infection, while health department considering three other cases as suspect. However, their family members took them to Indore, where they are undergoing treatment at Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital. Family members of all four patients informed that they all recovered from novel coronavirus, before they infected with the Mucormycosis.

According to information, first person who found infected with Mucormycosis was Laxminaraya Choudhary from Manasa after he recovered from Covid-19. He was taken to one of private hospital in Indore, from where he was referred to MY Hospital. Since the treatment of this infection is costly, his family members immediately called local MLA Anirudh Madhav Maru, who subsequently dialled Chief Minister Office and sought financial help in the matter.

Taking cognisance into the matter, CMO sanctioned Rs 2 lakh for his treatment. After surgery and medication, Choudhary is now recovering from the infection.

The family members of three other patients who are undergoing treatment at Indore’s MY Hospital are running from pillar to post to get medicines and injections necessary for treatment of infection.

One of the family members said that single dose injection for treatment of fungal infection cost around Rs 7,000 to 8,000 and patient need six to seven injection daily. More of that, injections are not available in market and it makes all of us helpless.

In the absence of adequate treatment, there is also a danger of losing eye sight or even death.

As per health experts, Mucormycosis is mostly found among COVID-19 patients who have diabetes, fluctuation in sugar level or increased iron level in the blood.

Public health experts are blaming the indiscriminate use of steroids to treat COVID-19 as the likely cause. Steroids reduce inflammation in the lungs. But overuse of these drugs in COVID-19 patients can result in lowered immunity and raised blood sugar levels. These conditions leave some patients, particularly those with uncontrolled diabetes, susceptible to such infections.

What is the black fungus?

Mucormycosis is an invasive infection caused by a class of molds called mucormycetes. These fungi are ubiquitous, naturally occurring in our environment, most commonly in soil. Humans get the infection by inhaling the fungal spores floating around in the air and in dust. These spores get lodged in the nasal passages and sinuses and cause disease at that site.

But not everyone exposed to the spores will get the infection. People with compromised immune systems, for example, those with blood cancer undergoing chemotherapy or bone-marrow transplant patients who can’t form neutrophils—a type of white blood cell that defends against infections—in the initial weeks, may fall victim to mucormycosis.

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