9 fresh cases of Black Fungus were reported at Lucknow's King George's Medical University; total tally stands at 17 since March.
The Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences hosted an online event to converge the opinion of 52 medical experts and discuss the preventive protocols of Black Fungus infection. Mucormycosis or Black Fungus, is developing rapidly as a post-COVID complication among several recovered and recovering patients. Amid the persistence of the pandemic, the event aimed to prepare a workforce to prevent the spread of this infection with the help of effective and relevant treatment protocols.
'Black Fungus can be easily managed', says SGPGI Director
It has been clinically inferred that uncontrolled diabetes is emerging as a major factor in contracting the Black Fungus infection. Other than them, patients who were given steroids of high doses and heavy antibiotic injections, to fight the coronavirus, are more vulnerable to black fungus. People with comorbidities and a highly compromised immune system due to HIV/AIDs or cancer, too fall in the high-risk category.
The director of SGPGI, Profession R.K. Dhiman said, "Mucormycosis is an uncommon, opportunistic invasive fungal infection which occurs in immune-suppressed patients. Uncontrolled diabetes is the most common risk factor for acquiring this infection. These fungal spores are present in the air, soil and decomposed debris and gain entry into sinuses and lungs by breathing contaminated air. Covid-19 patients with uncontrolled diabetes, undergoing treatment with steroids, are at heightened risk of the infection."
However, he also highlighted that the infection can be easily managed and treated with an integrated approach. The role of a Microbiologist, ENT specialist, ophthalmologist and diabetologist is crucial to achieving successful results, he said.
Online training for treating Black Fungus
In this light, doctors in Uttar Pradesh will be given online training in the treatment of Black Fungus. The state administration has directed concerned authorities to urgently connect all medical colleges, Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and other physicians involved in the treatment at SGPGIMS. As per reports, necessary medical training will be facilitated online for them, immediately.
These authorities have also been tasked to coordinate with the state-level advisory committee of health experts to formulate and issue the necessary guidelines of treatment, at the earliest. The administration has constituted a special 12-member 'COVID-19 associated with Mucormycosis' (CAM) management team at the SGPGI, to resolve the challenges posed by the escalating number of Black Fungus cases.
This team will also be in charge of formulating Rapid Response Teams, making treatment protocols and ensuring the availability of medicines along with a database of cases. Besides this, constituting more teams at medical colleges and hospitals in the state, raising awareness and sensitization among healthcare workers for early diagnosis and management of cases as per ICMR guidelines, have also been listed as their accessory roles. This approach has been devised to reduce panic among the public and healthcare workers.
The state too, has directed officials to launch aggressive efforts to proactively ward off the risk of infection in large proportion as a serious threat in the future. Availability of essential medicines and other arrangements should be made with the vision of treatment and prevention of the disease.
Black Fungus spread in Lucknow
Meanwhile, Lucknow's Black Fungus tally has surged to 17 since March, as 9 fresh cases were reported at the KGMU on Saturday. Out of these 9 infections, 3 were referred from other hospitals after diagnosis, while 5 developed the complication at their home. One patient exhibited symptoms of infection during treatment at the IDH ward at KGMU.
Individually, Medical University's Mucormycosis tally stands at 13 cases. Of these 7 have COVID infection while others have battled the pandemic and are now receiving Black Fungus treatment in the post-COVID care ward, including one in ICU. As per the KGMU spokesperson, Dr Sudhir Singh that all patients, except the one in ICU, are stable. The ICU case has undergone surgery where the ENT have removed all the dead tissues.