Several states are seeing a rapid increase in the number of mucormycosis or black fungus cases, a deadly infection that can cause blindness and even death, across the country. The fungal infection disproportionately targets COVID-19 patients and those people who have recently recovered from the illness. Even though the numbers of COVID-19 cases are slowly declining, many states are increasingly worried about Mucormycosis.
Black fungus cases have been reported in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Odisha among others.
Here is the list of states affected by the disease and how they are gearing up to deal with the new crisis:
The Rajasthan government on May 19 declared the fungal infection as an epidemic under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act 2020 to ensure an integrated and coordinated effort to tackle the problem along with COVID-19. The state has reported nearly a hundred cases of the infection.
The government has ordered the purchase of 2,500 injections in the treatment of black fungus. A separate ward has been made at Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in Jaipur for the treatment of patients infected by Mucormycosis.
The COVID-19 crisis has stabilised after weeks of chaos due to a shortage of beds and medical oxygen in the national capital, but the city is dealing with an increasing number of black fungus cases. Over 100 cases of Mucormycosis have been reported from various hospitals in Delhi. Patients are being treated in Max Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Apollo Hospital and AIIMS.
The Delhi Government has appointed a three-member expert committee to streamline the distribution of Amphotericin-B, the drug used for the treatment of infection, amid hospitals raising alarm about the short supply.
King George Medical College in the state's capital Lucknow alone has reported over 50 cases of black fungus. Nine of these cases were admitted between May 18 and May 19.
The state has taken a proactive stand against the disease and launched a nasal endoscopy campaign. The campaign is intended to detect black fungus cases early in potential patients like COVID-19 patients and those who have recovered. The state government will give free nasal endoscopy for such persons.
The state has reported over 350 cases of black fungus infections. The state government has got 2000 vials of Amphotericin-B injection to deal with the increasing number of cases.
The hilly state has reported 38 black fungus cases and two deaths from the disease. Both deaths happened in AIIMS Rishikesh while the patients were undergoing treatment.
Haryana has reported 115 cases of Mucormycosis. The state government has declared Mucormycosis a notified disease. Special wards with 20-beds are being set up in different hospitals of the state for the treatment of patients.
Maharashtra, the state worst hit by the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, has over 1500 cases of Mucormycosis with over 90 deaths.
The state government has ordered 1.9 lakh Amphotericin-B injections from various manufacturing companies while the state needs around 2 lakh jabs to treat all patients, according to Health Minister Rajesh Tope.