New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The guidelines for early detection and prevention of mucormycosis (Black fungus) within Covid wards were released by AIIMS-New Delhi’s Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Studies Wednesday night. The guidelines highlight the importance of detecting the symptoms early on while identifying high-risk patients with comorbidities for the same.

Who are considered “high-risk” individuals?

The cases of mucormycosis (Black fungus) are being detected among the Covid patients treated with steroids, especially the ones with existing health conditions such as diabetes and cancer. As for diabetes patients, doctors have pointed out that the fungus feeds on the excess of sugar present in the body of a diabetic person and hence such individuals remain particularly at high risk. The AIIMS’s mucormycosis detection guidelines especially point out:

- Patients with uncontrolled diabetes and diabetics on steroids such as tocilizumab.

- Cancer patients and the ones having recently undergone a transplant of organs being treated with immunosuppressants or anti-cancer drugs.

- Patients on high or long-term steroid doses.

- Patients on Oxygen support

- Severe Covid patients.

The AIIMS guidelines direct the ophthalmologists as well as the ENT (Eyes, Nose and Throat) specialists to conduct baseline examination of such high-risk patients, followed by periodic examinations during and after the discharge. The guidelines further specify the periodic examination to be conducted every two to six weeks or once every month for three months after testing negative for Covid-19.

What are the warning signs of ‘Black Fungus’?

- Abnormal black-coloured nasal discharge or nasal bleeding.

- Severe headache or eye pain.

- Swelling around the eyes and face leading to the inability to open and closing of eyes.

- Facial numbness, difficulty in eating.

The patients, at the first sight of these sign, have been recommended to immediately consult an ENT physician and not to self-medicate at all.

Hospitals around the country continue to report a growing trend of Black Fungus cases among Covid patients. According to media reports, 179 Black fungus cases so far have been reported in Bengaluru whereas the tally for the same stands at 51 in Gurugram. The disease has been declared an epidemic in Rajasthan, whereas in Delhi, several Delhi hospitals reported drug crunch in the wake of rising Black Fungus cases in the National Capital.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma