Haryana reports 268 black fungus cases, eight deaths
Amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19, Haryana is now witnessing an increase in cases of mucormycosis or black fungus, a rare, life-threatening infection. No fewer than 268 cases of black fungi have been reported as of Thursday evening in the state.
Eight people have also died from black fungal infection according to official data, while the actual number of deaths is estimated to be higher than that.
Four deaths were reported in Sirsa district, three in Gurugram and one in Sonipat until the evening of May 20, according to data from the state health department.
Due to the sudden increase in black fungus cases within a week, the condition is now also grappling with the problem of lack of amphotericin-B injection, which is needed to treat this deadly disease.
It was on May 15 that the black fungus was declared a notified disease in the state, forcing doctors (government and private) to report such cases to the chief medical officers concerned. On May 18, the Haryana government also issued a regulation entitled “Haryana Epidemic Disease (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021”.
“Of the more than 200 cases of black fungi reported in Haryana, the most cases are from Gurugram, Rohtak, Faridabad and Hisar district,” said Dr Usha Gupta, director of health services, Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP). diseases), Haryana, while speaking to The Pioneer. .
“Based on initial observations, oral steroid abuse and uncontrolled diabetes remain the main reason for the increase in black fungal infection in recovering and recovered COVID-19 patients,” she said .
She said the disease primarily affects people who have health problems or who take immunosuppressive drugs, drugs that reduce the body’s ability to fight germs and disease. It is recommended that patients seek early treatment, control their diabetes, and take steroids only if they are recommended and essential.
The state government has already issued orders to prevent irrational steroid use, Dr Gupta added.
In a letter dated May 18 to all state drug control officers, the National Drug Controller, Haryana had ordered to ensure that chemists under their jurisdiction maintain a complete record of sales of drugs containing drugs. steroids in accordance with section 18 of the Drug Act.
The order stated, “In order to prevent the spread of black fungus cases and prevent irrational steroid use for the management of COVID-19 cases, it is reiterated that all drugs containing steroids that are covered by Schedule H read with Rule 65. (3) of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 can only be sold on prescription from a licensed physician. “
“Given the lockdown restrictions in the state, chemists in the state have been advised to keep a scan or click on a photo of the affected prescription and keep a digital record with them,” the order added. .
Speaking of the early symptoms of black fungus, Dr Gupta said that patients with this fungal infection usually experienced nasal congestion, facial pain, droopy eyelids, swelling of the cheeks and eyes, black scabs in the nose, among other symptoms.
Notably, the state government has prepared 20-bed wards in all state medical schools to treat black fungus cases. All district physicians in the state have been urged to refer black fungus patients to nearby licensed medical facilities for treatment.
IMPORTED Amphotericin-B INJECTION
Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij said on Thursday that due to the increased demand for amphotericin-B injections for patients on black fungus treatment, the state government has decided to import this drug. “The state government has urged the Center to provide 12,000 amphotericin-B injections. The stock has not yet been received from the Center, which is why we have decided to import this drug, ”Vij said when speaking to the doctors here.
In particular, the state government has established an expert committee to decide on the distribution of injectable amphotericin B available in the state to individual patients admitted to public and private hospitals. The committee, which meets every day, had received about 25 such requests on Wednesday.