HYDERABAD: Black fungus, the new scourge, is scaring the daylights out of the diabetic Covid-19 patients who are in their recovery stage. In a short span of a fortnight, at least three persons have lost their vision to black fungus in the State.
According to Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital officials, a total of 11 patients have come in with this condition and are presently being given aggressive treatment with antifungal drugs like Liposomal Amphotericin.
“The problem with this disease is that it progresses very fast and can affect the eye, leading to loss of vision as well. Till now, of the 11 patients, six were referred by ENT specialists and they have early to moderate manifestation in their eyes. The other seven have come directly after their eyes were affected by the fungus. Three of them have lost vision permanently,” said Dr V Rajalingam, Superintendent Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital.
He explained that this fungus is affecting patients with low immunity post Covid-19 treatment. The use of steroids lowers the immunity further, leading to rapid spread of the fungus. Further more, the unsanitary conditions in oxygen pipelines could also be a breeding ground for the fungus, which spreads into the nasal passage during the oxygen treatment.
“People should not delay their visit to hospital. If any symptoms persist, they should immediately report to the hospital. We have sufficient beds and medicines to offer treatment for the condition and government has procured more drugs anticipating such cases,” said Dr Rajalingam V, Superintendent Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital.
Meanwhile, in a classic case of how the healthcare system fails innocent people, a 22-year-old Covid-19 recovered patient has now lost her eyesight to black fungus and is running pillar to post for treatment. The girl, who hails from Nizamabad, was treated at the Government General Hospital, Nizamabad for Covid-19. However, in last leg of her recovery, she developed the black fungus in her eye owing to her pre-existing comorbidity of being severely diabetic.
“Her eye was swelling up when the doctors at Nizamabad referred her to Gandhi Hospital, where she was diagnosed with black fungus. She was told that the treatment can only be done in private hospitals,” said Khalida Parveen of Amoomat Society, which is assisting the girl’s family. After being sent away from Gandhi Hospital, the family has now headed to a private hospital in the city.
“Due to delays in treatment, the private hospital has informed that she has lost her vision in her left eye. The doctors have asked for an ENT checkup to know the extent of the spread as it could spread to the brain and worsen the condition,” she added.
4,693 NEW COVID CASES, 33 DEATHS IN TS
Hyderabad: Telangana recorded 4,693 Covid-19 cases and 33 deaths on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the State to 5,16, 404 and toll to 2,867. The State’s active case tally is now at 56,917 with the recovery of 6,876 individuals on the day. A majority of the cases were registered under GHMC limits with 734 cases, followed by 296 in both Nalgonda and Rangareddy, 285 in Medchal, and 209 in Karimnagar. The lockdown seemed to have had no impact on the number of tests as only 71,221 tests were conducted on the day
Black fungus & key facts
- Scientifically known as mucormycosis, black fungus is not infectious and does
- Does not spread from person to person
- Occurs mostly in immuno-compromised patients
- Patients who have been on O2 supply or on steroids during Covid-19 treatment are most vulnerable
- Itching, redness and heaviness in eye not be ignored
- It progresses very fast and can affect the eye, leading to loss of vision as well