Six cases of black fungus detected among Mohali’s Covid patients
Mucormycosis or black fungus has been detected in six Covid-19 patients from Mohali, health authorities said on Thursday.
The confirmation comes on a day when the Chandigarh administration notified the fungal disease as an epidemic in the city, where 23 patients from other districts and states are under treatment at PGIMER (16) and GMCH-32 (7).
Panchkula, too, has confirmed six cases of black fungus, but the residential status of these patients was not immediately clear.
In Mohali, apart from the six local patients, another seven from Punjab, Delhi and Ambala are also admitted in various private hospitals of the district.
“Six cases of mucormycosis have been reported from Mohali. Three were detected at the Civil Hospital in Phase 6, from where two patients were shifted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, and a private hospital in Zirakpur. Two more were confirmed at Fortis Hospital and another at the Sohana hospital,” said Dr Adarsh Pal Kaur, civil surgeon, Mohali.
She said, “Early diagnosis and intervention is important. Repeated endoscopic examination of the nose, saline irrigation and surgical debridement can help treat the infection.”
Mucormycosis is an invasive infection caused by a class of moulds called mucormycetes. The fungus enters the body by inhalation and affects the sinuses or lungs.
“The infection is primarily found in Covid positive patients and is caused by indiscriminate use of steroids, uncontrolled diabetes, prolonged stay in the ICU and comorbidities,” said Dr Ashok K Gupta, director, ENT, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, who has been treating black fungus patients.
Patients may experience swelling, pain, watering and redness of eyes; drooping of eyelids, double vision and in some cases, loss of vision. Further, black discolouration of the skin, facial swelling, ulceration in the nasal cavity and facial nerve paralysis have also been observed.
All health facilities to report every case: UT health secretary
In the order notifying black fungus as an epidemic, Chandigarh’s principal health secretary Arun Kumar Gupta said under Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the UT administrator had notified the Chandigarh Administration Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021, under which all healthcare facilities, including government and private, will follow the guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by the Union health ministry.
All healthcare facilities will report every suspected or confirmed case of mucormycosis to the health department. No person, institution or organisation will spread any information for management of mucormycosis without prior permission from the health department, the order added.
A committee under the chairpersonship of the UT health director, with specialists of internal medicine, ophthalmology, ENT and epidemiology as members, will be constituted to review any violation of the notification.