Black fungus cases rising among children in Rajasthan
In the last two months, five children affected with black fungus have been reported from Rajasthan, of whom, one died within two days of hospitalization, doctors said, expressing concern over increasing cases of mucormycosis or black fungus among the children in the state.
In the last four months, Rajasthan reported over 3,000 cases of black fungus and 167 deaths.
Recently, a 7-year-old child from Bharatpur suffering from black fungus was admitted to JK Lon Hospital, Jaipur. Senior doctor Kailash Meena said the child has been suffering from aplastic anaemia since birth, a condition that occurs when the body stops producing enough new blood cells. He was undergoing treatment and now swelling was observed on his face.
The child’s RTPCR test was found negative but he had Covid-19 antibodies. He had been affected with Covid-19 and was asymptomatic. The child had a fever, followed by swelling on the face. In the MRI, evidence of black fungus was found. He will undergo surgery by ENT specialists in a day or two.
Meena said initially the parents weren’t agreeing as the child’s jaw would be removed, they were counselled and have now agreed. “Further delay in surgery would affect the brain with the fungus. The fungus affects those with compromised immunity,” he said.
Earlier, four cases of black fungus in children were reported in Bikaner Medical College. One of the children died. “In the last two months, four children suffering from black fungus have been reported. In all the cases, the patients’ immunity was compromised and Covid antibodies were present,” said Dr Gaurav Gupta, professor ENT department, government medical college, Bikaner.
He said the first case was of a 1.5-year boy whose upper lips and nose had gone black because of the fungus. The child was suffering from blood cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. There was no Covid-19 history but antibodies were present.
The second child was 3-years-old and was about to lose an eye due to the fungus but was saved through endoscopic orbital decompression. He also had antibodies.
Third, a 3-year-old girl was brought late and directly admitted to the ICU. Her face and skin had turned black and she had breathing issues. She was brought in serious condition and passed away after two days.
A 12-year-old boy had met with an accident and suffered from a secondary infection. He was cured with medicine, said Gupta.
Last year, from August to December, around 24 cases were reported of black fungus. Before Covid-19, one or two cases were reported in a year. But this time, during the second wave of Corona, the cases are exploding, said a senior doctor of SMS hospital.
The state government has notified Mucormycosis (black fungus) as an epidemic and announced free treatment of the disease.