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Four black fungus cases detected

KOLKATA: Four cases of Mucormycosis or Black Fungus have been reported in Bengal, triggering a cause of concern among the doctors. None of these patients are, however, from Bengal.

Three patients came to the city from Bihar and Jharkhand for eye treatment post Covid recovery while another one availed online consultation. Black fungus is a rare condition found among people who have recovered from Covid.

All the four patients got admitted to two eye hospitals run by a private hospital group. Two of the patients are undergoing treatment in a hospital run by the group in Durgapur. Three of them are male patients and are aged around 35, 40 and 50 years while another patient is a woman aged around 65 years. One patient came from Nawada in Bihar while other two came from Dumka and another town in Jharkhand. All of them complained of facial pain and dimness of vision in one eye. The fourth patient was from Bhagalpur who had availed an online consultation. All of these patients have recovered from Covid.

The two patients were sent to the Durgapur hospital. A group of fungi known as Mucormycetes affects the sinus, lungs and the brain. Early symptoms include sinus pain or nasal blockage on one side of the face. Patients can also feel one-sided headache and swelling or numbness, toothache and loosening of teeth. It could be fatal in some cases. It is important to avoid self-medication with steroids.

According to experts, it is being increasingly seen in post-COVID-19 patients who are usually diabetics. One of the most common features is central retinal artery occlusion CRAO, which is an irreversible cause of blindness in the eye. The incidence is alarming since the Editor, Journal – Indian Journal of Ophthalmology has pre-published the article on this topic.

Doctors suggested that the patients, especially diabetics, need to wash their mouth with betadine solution twice daily during Covid times. If they are on home oxygen therapy, the water of the Oxygen humidifier should be distilled water or mineral water and not tap water and it must be changed daily.

The catheters or the masks should be changed too. Doctors should use steroids judiciously, control diabetes which usually shoots up during Covid.

It may be mentioned here that black fungus cases were earlier reported from various other states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, among others.

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