Bhubaneswar: The daily COVID caseload may have come down following lockdown restrictions, but black fungus or mucormycosis continues to ring the alarm bells for Odisha, which has so far seen 130 people getting infected by the fungal infection and 20 deaths.
According to sources in the Health Department, the highest of 86 cases were admitted to different hospitals in Khurda, followed by 16 at VIMSAR, Sambalpur, 12 at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and 11 at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur in the last two months. Sundargarh reported four cases and Bargarh 1.
Eleven deaths have been reported from Khurda, four from Sambalpur, three from Cuttack and 2 from Sundargarh.
While 16 have recovered from the infection, another 94 are under treatment.
Till Sunday, AIIMS-Bhubaneswar had treated 62 black fungus cases. “Currently 49 patients are undergoing treatment. Among the total cases, 38 have been operated on while seven have succumbed to the infection and five discharged after treatment,” said medical superintendent Sachidananda Mohanty.
He said that conventional drugs are used for treating patients when there is a shortage of Liposomal Amphotericin B. “A patient requires 300 mg Amphotericin B (six vials) per day and at least 5 gm for complete medical therapy,” he added.
Odisha reported its first case of black fungus infection (mucormycosis) in a 71-year-old COVID patient from Jajpur with a known history of uncontrolled diabetes on May 10.
“We have treated 10 patients and six among them have been discharged. No deaths have been reported so far. The first patient of Odisha detected at SUM Ultimate died due to cardiac arrest. We have been able to avoid removing eyeballs from patients despite extensive orbit and brain involvement,” head of ENT and Skull Base Surgery, SUM Ultimate Medicare, Dr Radhamadhab Sahu said, adding that they have started taking in patients again from Sunday due to availability of adequate drugs.
The fungal infection first affects the nasal cavity, and then the eyes before spreading to the brain. “It is easy to manage the infection if only nose and paranasal sinuses are involved and things become tricky if it spreads to orbit and brain. A cocktail of complete surgery and proper medical management with every day endoscopic evaluation with minor debridement is the key to success,” he added.
Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Pradipta Mohapatra had earlier told Odisha Bytes that eight beds have been earmarked for black fungus-infected patients in each district headquarters hospital and 30 beds in all medical colleges in the state. “Separate beds have been created for COVID and non-COVID mucormycosis cases,” he added.
Meanwhile, MGM Advanced Molecular Mucormycosis Laboratory has been opened at LV Prasad Eye Institute in Bhubaneswar, where five such patients are under treatment.