Bowring to take in Black Fungus cases
Panel to be formed to look into issue; 20K doses of Amphotericin B drug sought from Centre, says Sudhakar
BENGALURU : Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Saturday said that it has been decided to start treatment for Mucormycosis or black fungus at Bowring Hospital from May 17. He said the treatment will be expanded to all medical colleges and district government hospitals.
He said that the fungal infection arises in Covid patients with less immunity, those treated with excessive steroids and are diabetic. It starts from the nose and spreads to the eyes and can lead to loss of vision or even death. “Amphotericin B, the drug used to treat black fungus is in short supply. It has to be taken for seven weeks and will cost Rs 2-3 lakh per person.
I will discuss with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa regarding free treatment. We have requested the Union Government for 20,000 doses of this medicine,” Sudhakar said, advising people not to take steroids on their own and only on doctor’s advice.He also requested doctors to not excessively prescribe steroids, especially for those with less immunity.
He asked patients with other conditions such as Tuberculosis, HIV, and Cancer to be careful. A committee comprising eye experts, endocrinologists, diabetologists, etc will be formed on Monday to decide on the treatment to be provided for black fungus. Meanwhile, Sudhakar said that while the positivity rate was declining in Bengaluru, it was increasing in other districts and in rural areas. “One of the reasons for this is reverse migration before the lockdown,” he said.
12 persons infected in Kolar
Kolar:Twelve post-Covid patients, infected with black fungus, are being treated at RL Jalappa Hospital in Kolar, said Deputy Commissioner Dr Selvamani. All the patients are stable and responding to treatment, he added. A few of them have undergone surgery and their condition too is stable, he said. Sources said that majority of the patients who have been infected were on oxygen while being treated for Covid.
4 cases in Bagalkot, Vijayapura districts
Mahesh M Goudar @Bagalkot/Vijayapura: Bagalkot and Vijayapura districts have reported four cases of black fungus (Mucormycosis) among patients who have recovered from Covid, creating fear among those cured. Three cases have been reported from Bagalkot and one from Vijayapura. Of the three infected in Bagalkot district, one each is from Bagalkot town, Bilagi and Mudhol. One has gone to Hyderabad, another to Bengaluru and the last has remained at a primary health centre in Bilagi.
Dr Ananth Desai, Bagalkot DHO, said, “We don’t have the stock of the drug, Amphotericin, to treat black fungus. We have alerted the government.” DC Dr K Rajendra chaired an emergency virtual meeting with all the doctors of 39 Covid hospitals in the district. He observed that cases are surfacing due to the use of substandard quality of water in humidifiers while supplying oxygen to patients. He told the hospital authorities to use distilled water. In Vijayapura, the first case of black fungus was reported at BLDE Hospital on Sunday. The doctors confirmed that the patient is stable. However, attendants of the patient are struggling to find Amphotericin.
Gram panchayat employee infected
Belagavi: A 28-year-old gram panchayat employee from Khemalapur village of Raibag taluk in Belagavi district has been infected with black fungus. Anand Kulali --- who works at Khemalapur gram panchayat --- tested positive for Covid-19 on May 7 and was admitted to Hukkeri taluk hospital in the district. He was later referred to a private hospital in Belagavi. As he was being treated for Covid, his face started to swell and he was referred to an ENT specialist.
Anand was then admitted to a private hospital at Miraj in neighbouring Maharashtra and doctors told the relatives that he had to undergo a surgery. Anand’s family, which is economically poor, had appealed to the authorities for help. When Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi heard of Anand’s condition, he helped in shifting him to Bengaluru from Miraj. Doctors, however, said that Anand’s condition is critical. Deputy Commissioner Mahantesh Hiremath, however, said that there have been no cases of black fungus in the district.