'Black fungus' rages in Bihar, doctors complain of dire shortage of drugs

Published on Jun 07, 2021 11:33 AM IST

All five new cases of black fungus deaths were recorded at IGIMS, Patna. Two of the patients suffering from the disease were admitted to the hospital, while the rest of the nine were admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the city.

Patients being treated for black fungus. Doctors say that while around 585 vials of the Amphotericin B drug are needed per day, only 200 such vials arrived on Saturday, while not a single vial arrived till 9pm on Sunday. (File Photo)
Patients being treated for black fungus. Doctors say that while around 585 vials of the Amphotericin B drug are needed per day, only 200 such vials arrived on Saturday, while not a single vial arrived till 9pm on Sunday. (File Photo)
By | Written by Joydeep Bose

As many as five coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients, also infected with mucormycosis or 'black fungus', died in Bihar's capital Patna during the last 24 hours, while 11 others were admitted with the fungal infection on the same day, HT's sister publication Hindustan reported on Monday. All five cases of death were recorded at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna. Two of the patients suffering from the disease were admitted to the hospital, while the rest of the nine were admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the city.

Also Read: Black fungus also maiming asymptomatic Covid patients: Study

IGIMS superintendent Dr. Manish Mandal said that despite Sunday being an off day, a team of doctors had to work overtime and perform surgery on 14 patients suffering from black fungus infection. Twenty more patients have been marked for a similar operation on Monday, he said. Not a single patient admitted at either IGIMS or AIIMS got Amphotericin B doses at the hospitals due to non-supply of the drug from the state health department, Dr Mandal told the publication while speaking of the dire situation.

‘Black fungus’, also known as mucormycosis, is considered to have deadly effects. The central government in an advisory stated that the fungal infection affects people who are on medication as it reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens.

Amphotericin B injection is being used in black fungus treatment. Dr. Mandal said that while around 585 vials of the medicine are needed per day, only 200 such vials arrived on Saturday, while not a single vial arrived till 9pm on Sunday. AIIMS' Dr. Kranti Bhavana also said that the patients did not get a single dose of Amphotericin B due to the non-availability of medicines. Some of the medicines already present in PMCH were given to more serious patients.

Diabetes, prolonged consumption of steroids, and prolonged ICU stay are the major risk factors for this disease. Some of the symptoms of this rare disease include pain, swelling/redness around the eyes and nose, fever, headache, cough, shortness of breath, and bloody vomit.

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