In another case of mucormycosis (Black Fungus infection), West Bengal reported a death of a 32-year-old, who succumbed on Friday, May 21. This has become the first death in the state due to the disease, the state health department official confirmed.
A resident of the southern part of the Haridevpur area, Shampa Chakraborty, was admitted to the Sambhunath Pandit Hospital after being down with COVID-19 and was later diagnosed with the infection. Pandit was comorbid (highly diabetic) and was on insulin.
The state has five patients who are suffering from the infection and are undergoing treatment. All of them are from neighbouring states, Bihar and Jharkhand, NDTV reported.
West Bengal becomes the 11th state with a Black Fungus case, after Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh. Many of these states have declared mucormycosis a notifiable disease after the Centre's notice.
The state health department had constituted an expert committee to deal with Black Fungus cases and formulated an advisory, titled "Mucormycosis - if uncared for - may turn fatal' for the citizens.
Advisory For Citizens
The advisory has mentioned signs of the disease, including pain and redness around the eyes or nose, fever, headache, coughing and shortness of breath, vomiting blood, and altered mental status. General changes in brain function like amnesia, loss of alertness and disorientation are among the symptoms.
Citizens with health conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, suppression of the immune system by steroids, prolonged stay in ICU, comorbidities post-transplant and malignancy are prone to be attacked by the fungal disease, the media reported.
One is suspected of having been infected with the disease if they report congestion, blockade, one-sided facial pain, numbness, blackish discolouration over the bridge of nose or palate, toothache, loosening of teeth, blurred vision and chest pain and worsening respiratory symptoms, the advisory added.
People have been warned against being exposed to stale food, including bread, fruits and vegetables, along with soil, compost and excreta. The advisory has recommended wearing shoes, long trousers, long sleeve shirts, use gloves while gardening. Personal hygiene must be maintained.
Reportedly, the disease develops after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn etc.
The advisory has urged people to use masks, especially during visits to dusty construction sites and discontinue steroids. Patients must be monitored regularly with radio imaging and detect disease progression.
The blood glucose level of people discharged after COVID-19 recovery must be monitored.
Maharashtra has 1500 cases of mucormycosis cases, the highest among the states, with 90 deaths, followed by Gujarat, with as many as 1,163 cases and 61 deaths, reported Hindustan Times.
Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh has reported more than 100 cases and deaths. The southern states have reported 97 cases of mucormycosis with no fatality, except for Telangana, where 90 cases have been detected, and ten deaths have been recorded.