Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today took to Twitter to advise people on ways to detect and manage Mucormycosis, commonly known as Black Fungus, which have been reported in several coronavirus patients, especially in Maharashtra. "Awareness and early diagnosis can help curb the spread of the fungal infection," the minister said as he shared four slides on Black Fungus, its symptoms, and required action once someone contracts the infection.
Mucormycosis mainly affects people with medical health problems that reduce their ability to fight environmental pathogens, the minister said, adding that people having co-morbidities, voriconazole therapy, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, or prolonged ICU stay can get predisposed to the fungal infection.
Pain or redness around eyes, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomits and altered mental status are possible symptoms of the infection, the minister said.
"Don't consider all cases of the blocked nose as cases of bacterial sinusitis, especially in the cases of immunosuppression and/ or COVID-19 patients on immunomodulators," the minister advised in his tweet.
Mucormycosis became a much talked about the subject after some recovering and recovered coronavirus patients were found infected with the disease.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said there could be over 2,000 mucormycosis patients in the state as of now and with more and more COVID-19 cases coming up, "their number would increase for sure". As many as 111 patients, all COVID-19 survivors, are undergoing treatment for mucormycosis in hospitals in the state capital Mumbai, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which controls the financial capital.
The state has now decided to create a separate database of cases of mucormycosis to assess its actual spread and how to tackle it, news agency Press Trust of India reported quoting officials.