Hyderabad: Doctors at SLG Hospitals have saved lives of three patients suffering from the deadly ‘Black Fungus’ or Mucormycosis infection, which has emerged as a side-effect of unregulated and self-prescribed treatments for Covid-19.
While India in general and Hyderabad in particular, are witnessing a growing number of black fungus infection cases, saving victims of this is likely to become a priority for healthcare providers in the country.
A rare but serious fungal infection, Mucormycosis often manifests in the nose and spread to adjacent eyes and brain. Although rare, this serious infection is caused by a group of moulds known as Mucormycetes present naturally in the environment. It mainly affects people who are on medication for health problems that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens (immunocompromised/immune suppressed), like in the case of Covid-19+ve patients who take high dosage of steroids.
Speaking on these patients Dr Bhargaw Ilapakurty, Consultant Head & Neck Surgeon, SLG Hospitals, who treated them said, “Three patients, aged 25 yrs, 42 yrs, and 63 yrs, who recently recovered from Covid-19 reported with nasal obstruction and eye-sight related complaints. They were earlier treated with high-power steroids and were put on oxygen support too. Large traces of Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) was found in their nasal cavity, and this required surgical procedure to ensure their eye-sight could be saved/restored.”
“To ensure the infection does not spread further, we performed endoscopic sinus surgery with debridement, along with orbital decompression, a major surgical procedure that involves removing or thinning of various safe orbital walls (and orbital fat), thereby expanding the eye socket, allowing the eyeball to settle back. This procedure was necessary not just to ensure the patients’ eye/s is protected, but also stop the infection from spreading further and threatening life of these individuals,” Dr Bhargaw added.
This is a rare disease, and some groups of people are more vulnerable than others! Patients with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, those using high dose of steroids, prolonged ICU stay, and comorbidities such as post-transplant/malignancy could lead to complications like Mucormycosis. And to avoid such complications, the best thing to do is to use masks, stay home, get vaccinated and take all precautions to avoid getting infected with coronavirus, a hospital release here said on Wednesday.