Mucormycosis cases, fatalities drop significantly in Jharkhand
Jharkhand has witnessed a significant drop in cases of Covid-induced mucormycosis and fatalities caused by the fungal infection, which the state notified as an epidemic last week following a heads up by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The state has not reported even a single mucormycosis-triggered casualty in the past fortnight, records with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) highlight. So far, the state has reported 26 mucormycosis deaths and the last casualty occurred on June 17, about 14 days ago.
As many as seven confirmed and 11 suspected cases of the fungal infection have been reported in the state in the past 14 days, indicating that mucormycosis cases were gradually falling, health officials said on Thursday.
IDSP data highlights that the recovery rate has also jumped to almost 70 per cent from around 45 per cent a fortnight ago. Of the 86 confirmed cases of infection reported in the state, at least 60 patients have recovered. However, at least 64 people in the state were under observation after suspected mucormycosis.
“The recovery rate for mucormycosis is above 69 per cent now, and the fatality rate too has dropped significantly. But we cannot afford to be complacent as early diagnosis helps save a lot of lives and prevent complications,” said Dr. Siddharth Tripathi, the nodal officer for health department’s Information, Education and Communication (IEC) wing.
As per records with the health department, Ranchi reported 31 confirmed cases of mucormycosis and eight fatalities – the highest in the state. East Singhbhum reported 20 cases and five casualties, while Dhanbad reported six cases and two deaths. At least three of the four mucormycosis patients found in Ramgarh could not survive. Hazaribag also reported four cases and three casualties. Koderma and Bokaro reported three cases each.
Even though black fungus cases and fatalities have dropped in the state, doctors warned against any complacency. Any person, especially Covid survivors and people with diabetes, experiencing symptoms of mucormycosis should immediately seek medical attention, they said.
“Symptoms of fever, nasal congestion and partial facial swelling should not be taken lightly,” said Ranchi civil surgeon Dr Vinod Kumar.
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. Several thousand cases of Covid-induced Mucormycosis were reported in India in the past couple of months and doctors claimed that use of high dosage steroids for treatment of severely-ill Covid patients was one of the reasons for the spike.