Continuous Surge in Black Fungus Cases in Telangana

According to authorities, till May 27, there were 744 patients undergoing treatment at government and private hospitals across State

Hyderabad: The cases of mucormycosis among patients recovered from Covid-19 continue to rise in Telangana. Based on the data from health authorities, till May 27, there were 744 mucormycosis patients undergoing treatment at different government and private hospitals across the State. Accordingly, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday has released an additional 1,890 vials of the antifungal drug Amphotericin-B for treatment of patients.

Senior health officials said that as on Thursday, by rough estimates there were more than 1,000 mucormycosis patients in Telangana out of which around 250 patients are admitted to Koti ENT Hospital and another 100 at the ENT wing of Gandhi Hospital, while the rest of the patients were getting treated at private hospitals in Hyderabad.

Treatment for mucormycosis involves surgical and medical treatment. Once the extent of the infection is ascertained through CT scan, sinus surgery is taken up to remove the infection, and then the patients are put on a long course of oral antifungal medications. While the surgeries are being taken up quickly, the limited availability of Amphotericin-B drug across the country is hampering the quick recovery of patients.

“Every day, our ENT surgeons are conducting at least 20 surgeries. In the coming days, efforts are on to increase daily surgeries to at least 30 to 35. To make this happen, we have arranged five operation tables, which are engaged non-stop from morning till late evening to take up extra surgeries at Koti ENT hospital. We should be able to complete all the surgeries in seven to eight days. However, the difficulties remain in ensuring availability of antifungal drugs,” says Director of Medical Education (DME), Dr K Ramesh Reddy.

To reduce the patient load at ENT Hospital in Koti and Gandhi Hospital, the health authorities have also started treatment of mucormycosis patients in District Hospitals located in all the district headquarters. The medical infrastructure at ENT departments in district teaching hospitals is being strengthened by transporting endoscopy and other medical equipment from Hyderabad. Senior health officials said that the healthcare workers at teaching hospitals are also adequately trained to handle such cases, and efforts were on to ensure ample stocks of medicine in all district headquarter hospitals.

“Every day, we are receiving anywhere between 300 and 400 applications for Amphotericin-B from different parts of the State. Due to difficulty in production in the country, there is no way we can supply the antifungal drug to all. That’s why we are urging doctors and the general public to utilise drugs that are available in the market, which are equally effective,” Dr Reddy said.

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