Past month saw average of eight black fungus cases a day
Bengaluru Urban records 1,207 cases, followed by Dharwad at 342
BENGALURU: In the past 33 days, 285 new black fungus or mucormycosis cases have been reported in the state, taking the tally to 3,836 as of August 18. The highest number of Covid-19 associated mucormycosis patients is in Bengaluru Urban (1,207), Dharwad (342), Vijayapura (228), Kalaburagi (213) and Ballari (169).
The total number of deaths caused by this disease is 441, with the highest number being 149 in Bengaluru, followed by 40 in Dharwad, 28 in Ballari, 25 in Dakshina Kannada, and 24 in Kalaburagi. “The daily number of black fungus cases in the state is low, compared to the numbers we saw during the second wave peak. The decline could be proportionate to the decline in Covid cases. The primary reason was low immunity caused by various factors,” said Dr Bhujang Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director of Narayana Nethralaya, who is on the state’s expert committee on mucormycosis.
The causes for low immunity include serious Covid patients being put on ventilator and steroids, with diabetes making the patient immunocompromised. Those with borderline diabetes developed diabetes after contracting the virus.
He added that many patients were immunocompromised post discharge, and developed black fungus. While many theories were floated for the causes of black fungus, including the quality of water used in oxygen humidifiers and use of industrial oxygen, experts could not zero in on them. Those with good immunity are not affected by black fungus, Dr Shetty added.
As per Wednesday’s mucormycosis analysis report of Dharwad district, 179 patients were on steroid therapy, 279 patients had diabetes, 32 patients had immunocompromised status and 62 had comorbidities. While 204 black fungus patients had not received oxygen support prior to the onset of mucormycosis, 138 did. More men contracted the fungal infection -- 253 as compared to 89 women. The highest number of 148 black fungus cases fell in the 45-60 age group, followed by 113 cases in the 18-45 age group, and 81 cases in the 60-plus age category. No cases of minors were reported in Dharwad district.