Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has started making efforts to curb the spread of deadly ‘Black Fungus’ at its initial stage.
A few cases of this rare and fatal disease have been found among recovered and recovering Covid-19 patients.
Though the cases of this deadly disease are very rare in the state, its lethality has prompted the Yogi Government to issue warnings and put doctors on a high alert.
The chief minister has directed the 14-member health expert committee to tackle this situation.
He has directed the committee to make an assessment of the situation on a priority basis and make necessary recommendations. The committee has also been directed to submit detailed reports regarding prevention, precautions, treatment to the Chief Minister’s Office regularly.
According to the government spokesman, the central government, in an advisory, stated that the fungal infection affects people who are on medication as it reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens.
Diabetes, prolonged consumption of steroids, prolonged ICU stay are the major risk factors for this disease.
Some of the symptoms of this rare disease include pain, swelling/redness around the eyes and nose, fever, headache, cough, shortness of breath and bloody vomits.
Doctors at the King George’s Medical University said they have witnessed at least seven cases of this infection in three months. Four patients are still recovering in Covid ICU ward of the medical university.
The disease affects the sinuses, brain and lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immune-compromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS, doctors said.
At KGMU, two of the patients, aged 35 and 60 years, are diabetic while the other two, aged 70 and 45 years, have been on steroids for a long period of time.
“All the four patients are residents of Lucknow and were getting treated for Covid at other hospitals. They were referred to us after they had swelling under their eyes,” said Dr D Himanshu, medical superintendent and in charge of infectious diseases unit, KGMU.
“The symptoms include pain and redness around the eyes and nose, fever, headache, cough, shortness of breath, bloody vomits and altered sensorium,” he said.
“In patients who have been on steroids for long, reduction in immunity makes them prone to black fungus disease,” he explained.