72% black fungus patients in Punjab got infection in sinus
Fungal infection spread to eyes in at least 6 patients, resulting in partial vision loss, says state health department
The patients of mucormycosis, popularly known as black fungus, are being diagnosed at early stages in Punjab with the fungal infection in 72% of the patients found only in sinus (nose area), the state health department said.
The infection spread to the eyes in at least 6 patients, resulting in vision-related disabilities, officials said. But no case of infection in a patient’s brain, lungs, jaws or teeth has been reported in the state so far.
Mucormycosis, a rare but serious fungal infection, can disfigure a person even when it is not fatal.
Health experts say that Covid patients who are not following the post- recovery medical instructions, especially pertaining to blood sugar levels and intake of medicines, are more prone to the infection.
“Of the 222 black fungus cases detected in Punjab till now, 160 patients were diagnosed at early stage when only sinus gets infected. But if not treated, the infection can spread to eyes, lungs, jaws, teeth and sometimes brain. Experts doctors are monitoring these patients to contain the infection in their bodies,” said state nodal officer for black fungus Dr Gagandeep Singh, adding that the infection was severe in at least 6 patients as they had to undergo surgery after the fungus reached their eyes.
“We do not know the clinical status of the patients who had undergone surgeries for orbit and no specific data was maintained for their partial or complete vision loss. The fungal infection may have spread in the bodies and may have damaged the organs of 25 patients who have died of the disease,” Dr Gagandeep said.
On Thursday, a patient infected with Covid-19 and black fungus underwent surgery at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Amritsar, as the infection had spread to the eye orbit, putting his vision at risk.
“A team of doctors performed an advanced endoscopic procedure to preserve the eyes of the patient. The fungus was removed from orbit bone and the patient’s vision was saved,” said GMCH, Amritsar, medical superintendent Dr KD Singh.
“We regularly conduct medical tests to check the spread of fungus in the patients’ bodies and no cases with severe infection in brain and lungs have been detected yet,” he added.