We get 2-3 black fungus cases daily, says ENT surgeon, Health News, ET HealthWorld

ENT surgeon Dr Nishit Shah has underscored the need to ramp up the supply of anti-fungal medicines to tackle the escalating cases of mucormycosis or black fungus, in the city. “The situation is deeply worrying. We get two to three cases every day at our centre (in Bombay Hospital) that need to be operated upon, and phone calls are far too many,” Dr Shah told TOI on Sunday.

Till last week, the disease has affected close to 5,500 people across the country and claimed 126 lives, including 90 in the state, according to reports.

Urging Mumbaikars not to panic, Dr Shah said, “Scanning of patients…and medical follow-up will help tide over the crisis. Surgery is as important as medication to contain mucormycosis.” Citizens should promptly seek medical assistance in the wake of symptoms like cheek swelling or pressure on eyes, he added.

Describing the sudden upsurge in mucormycosis as “astonishing”, Dr Shah said, “It’s a tad strange that black fungus is confined to India.” Pointing out that the disease was detected chiefly among Covid-19 patients who may have been administered steroids not under medical supervision, he said: “Heavy steroids and high sugar level is a lethal combination. It could trigger black fungus. The authorities need to ensure that steroids are administered under strict medical supervision. Also patients’ sugar level should be closely monitored.”

Stating that Maharashtra government and BMC were “adequately responsive” to the enormity of mucormycosis, Dr Shah said shortage of medicine was a matter of concern.

The Maharashtra government has urged the Centre to provide adequate quota of anti-fungal injections to the state.

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