As many as 21 confirmed cases of black fungus have been detected in Jharkhand so far of which eight persons have died, state health department formally announced on Tuesday.
At present 29 persons are classified as ‘black fungus suspects’ and are undergoing treatment in different hospitals, said officials adding that they comprise both existing and recovered Covid patients.
Mucormycosis is a rare infection caused by exposure to mucor mould found in soil, plants, manure and decaying fruits and vegetables. According to medical experts, this infection usually affects the lungs, the nasal tract and the sinus of the patient and has a fatality rate of 50 per cent, say doctors. Diabetes and people with immune compromised conditions are at a higher risk of infection.
Health department’s data further stated that Ranchi and East Singhbhum have registered three deaths each while one fatality each was reported from Chatra and Ramgarh since the detection of first case early this month.
Among the confirmed cases, East Singbhum has the highest number of 10 cases while two more suspected cases. Other districts with confirmed cases include Ranchi (5), Ramgarh (3), Chatra, Deoghar and Jamtara (one each).
Among the suspected cases, Ranchi has maximum of nine followed by three each in Ramgarh and Giridih. Bokaro, Dhanbad, East Singbhum, and Koderma have two each while Chatra, Garhwa, Gumla, Hazaribag, Latehar, and Sahebganj currently have one suspected case each.
“All patients are currently admitted in Rims, Medica and Rampyari hospital in Ranchi and MGM and TMH in Jamshedpur,” health department said in a statement.
The state which was reeling under the shortage crisis of Amphotericin-B few days back has received fresh stocks of the crucial drug required to treat black fungus cases. “Of 1957 vials of Amphotericin-B on May 21, 1007 were dispatched to all districts by May 24. Currently, we are left with 950 vials. We had received 100 and 60 vials from union government on May 21 and 24 respectively,” said an official.
Considering the emergence of black fungus, also known as mucormycosis, as a latest threat to people amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the state government on Sunday night directed Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi to constitute a technical expert group comprising doctors from different areas of expertise in order to tackle growing cases and also function as the nodal centre for treatment of the fungal infection.