Monday, June, 21,2021

After COVID-19, mucormycosis cases surge in Rajkot

The fungal infection may be getting passed on due to long-drawn usage of oxygen masks and pipes by patients, say docs; 85 cases recorded in Rajkot in past 10 days

Rajkot: If the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t enough, another disease called mucormycosis has gripped people in the state.

Over the past 10 days, Rajkot reported over 85 cases of the fungal infection and as per reports the disease seems to be on the rise in the district.

Sources say that around four to five surgeries are being conducted at the Rajkot Civil Hospital on a daily basis alone.

While the official data reported by the government shows 85 cases, the number may be higher, with several patients opting to seek treatment at private hospitals.

“No official instructions have been given to the state health department on maintenance of mucormycosis records, which has been termed as a hazardous disease,” said a government official.

Speaking to First India, Rajkot Civil Hospital superintendent Dr RS Trivedi confirmed, “Over the past 10 days, the hospital has recorded 77 such cases.

The disease is on the rise and there are more cases in the city with many opting for private treatments. Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that affects those who are immunocompromised. Of the 77 cases we received, some have come back negative for mucormycosis and a few are positive. But, all the patients in question are or were COVID-19 positive, at some point in time.”

“The situation is alarming. We conduct 4-5 surgeries every day. Usually, when the disease manifests, the organs around the face are affected.

But, in some cases the central nervous system is affected. In worst case scenarios, the affected eye of a may have to be removed,” he added.

On sufficient availability of drugs for the treatment, the superintendent said, “This disease requires extensive treatment. One injection costs Rs6,500 and a patient has to take 4-5 injections per day for not less than 21 days.”

Talking about reasons for rise in mucormycosis cases, Dr Trivedi remarked, “Due to long-drawn usage of oxygen masks and pipes, improper hygiene conditions, the chances of fungal infestation increases. If infected, drugs and surgery are the only solutions.”

The hospital has started a separate 30-bed ward exclusively for COVID-19 positive patients suffering from mucormycosis. More beds will be added as and when required.

Meanwhile, the Rajkot district health office reported eight cases of mucormycosis. Dr Nilesh Rathod, pandemic media officer at Rajkot jilla panchayat, warned, “Overdose of drugs and long usage of oxygen masks is sometimes dangerous. People have to understand this.”

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