BENGALURU : The state has reported 3,381 cases of mucormycosis or black fungus during the second wave of Covid-19 so far claiming the lives of 281 people. Of the 3,381 cases, 1,068 are from Bengaluru Urban with 87 deaths.
Doctors working at government hospitals treating black fungus patients say the rate of cases has dipped sharply with a steady decline in fresh Covid-19 cases.
Also, there is enough stock of Amphotericin-B, the drug required to treat black fungus patients, unlike the shortage witnessed in the months of May and June.
According to sources, Bengaluru’s Victoria Hospital, which treats patients with mucormycosis, is seeing just 1-2 cases each day. Earlier, this figure was much higher.
While Victoria Hospital treats Covid-positive patients having mucormycosis, Bowring Hospital treats patients who develop the infection after recovering from Covid-19.
“The load of mucormycosis cases has come down by almost 50%. We have operated on more than 100 cases. We have a team of ENT doctors, neurosurgeons, opthamologists, facio-maxillary surgeons and physicians, along with sufficient stock of Amphotericin-B. Outcome of the patients depends on various factors, including immunity status, diabetes, existing disease conditions such as Covid pneumonia and oxygen saturation levels. Symptoms include sinusitis, nasal block, loosening of teeth, blurred vision, restricted movement of eyeball, blackish mass, headache and nasal obstruction,” said Dr Vishwanath, professor and head of ENT Department, Victoria Hospital.
Sources said that mortality meetings are held at Victoria hospital to discuss and analyse the cause for each death. Mostly, the patient succumbs to Covid pneumonia, rather than black fungus itself.
If not treated properly on time, it leads to death. If the fungus has spread to the brain, it denotes Stage 4 of the disease and can lead to ‘on table death’ of the patient.
However, 90% of the patients have been treated successfully at Victoria Hospital.
“Patients who suffer kidney diseases are administered an alternative medicine called Posaconazole. Good diabetes control and anti-fungal medication for a long period of time will ensure complete recovery of the patient,” the source added.
“The situation is stable now with only 2-3 admissions per day. They are all adults, except for two paediatric cases we saw earlier. Supply of Amphotericin-B is sufficient. Fatalities have also reduced. Many of the patients Bowring has received are referrals from Trustwell Hospital,” said Dr Manoj Kumar, dean and director, Bowing College and Hospital.
Of the 1,068 cases in Bengaluru Urban, 201 are from Victoria Hospital, 310 from Bowring Hospital and 3 from KC General Hospital, amounting to 514 cases. The remaining are from various private hospitals.