Every effort is being made to ensure there is no shortage of injections, Minister says
A steady rise in cases of mucormycosis (popularly known as black fungus) and an alleged lack of amphotericin-B and posaconazole injections are causing anxiety in patients and their loved ones.
The number of mucormycosis patients, which stood at 35 on May 25 at King George Hospital (KGH) has more than doubled, and the total number of cases (including those in private hospitals) in Visakhapatnam has hit the 100 mark in less than exceeded 10 days. The district authorities have increased the number of beds to ensure that there will be no bottlenecks even if the number of cases increases tenfold.
“A total of 1,000 beds have been set up in various hospitals across the city to cater to the growing number of patients diagnosed with black fungus. The amphotericin-B injections will be delivered to the states from the center. We are making every effort to ensure that there is no shortage of injections, ”said incumbent District Minister Kurasala Kannababu The Hindu via phone.
Collector V. Vinay Chand said the treatment protocol was formulated for optimal use of the drugs available. While patients with severe problems would receive intravenous injections, patients with mild or moderate symptoms would be treated with tablets. A total of six patients have died and 113 were treated for mucormycosis, as on June 2 in Visakhapatnam.
“Eyelid swelling (unilateral), redness, blurring, and loss of vision are some of the symptoms. Pain in and around the eye should be taken seriously by patients recovering from COVID treatment, ”says Dr. G. Hanumantha Rao, Professor and HOD of Ophthalmology, Maharaja Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) in Vizianagaram.
“COVID-19 Associated Murcormycosis (CAM) can be treated with liposomal amphotericin B or posaconazole injections. Injections should be used in the first phase, followed by oral formulations, ”says Dr. Veluri Gayathri, Professor of Microbiology at the NRI Institute of Medical Sciences.
“COVID-19 patients with poor blood sugar control, high dose or prolonged use of steroids, and those with high ferritin levels in their blood are prone to CAM,” she says.
“The high prevalence of fungal infections in post-COVID patients is due to the indiscriminate use of steroids and antibiotics for COVID treatment, prophylactic use of antifungal drugs, and contamination of nasal prongs and pipelines for oxygen supply,” says Dr. SKE Appa Rao, ENT surgeon and past President of the Indian Society of Otology.