Black fungus cases halve in four days in Jharkhand
The active caseload of mucormycosis, a disease notified as an epidemic in Jharkhand, has halved in the past four days with at least eight patients getting discharged from hospital during this period, data compiled by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) highlighted on Monday.
There were at least 16 patients of black fungus in Jharkhand on September 9. Cut to Monday, the count of patients dropped to eight. At least six of the eight patients, according to IDSP, were from Ranchi, while Dhanbad and Gumla had one patient each.
East Singhbhum, a district that reported the second highest number of mucormycosis cases, did not have any active cases of this fungal infection on Monday. As per government data, this district reported at least 25 cases of mucormycosis in 2021 and at least five patients died of this disease there.
With at least 66 reported cases, Ranchi was the worst-affected district in terms of mucormycosis caseload and fatality in Jharkhand. At least 11 of the 66 patients died of black fungus in Ranchi, as per IDSP data.
Besides a significant fall in the count of active cases, the state has also put a check on fatalities caused by the lethal disease, officials said. Black fungus has claimed at least 31 lives in Jharkhand so far, but no deaths caused by this disease were reported in August and September. As many as 168 cases of black fungus have been reported in Jharkhand so far.
Mucormycosis is a rare infection caused by exposure to mucor mould found in soil, plants, manure and decaying fruits and vegetables. The line of treatment includes surgery and administering anti-fungal drugs, mostly Amphotericin B. Following an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guideline, the state government has also included Posaconazole injections in the list of medicines that can be administered to mucormycosis patients.
Several thousand cases of Covid-induced mucormycosis were reported in India earlier this year and doctors claimed that use of high dosage steroids for treatment of severely-ill Covid patients was one of the reasons for the spike. In almost all these cases, the fungus affected either eyes, nose or brain of the patient. However, Jharkhand also reported rare cases of black fungus affecting lungs of Covid survivors.