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Black Fungus killed 90 people, affected 1,500 in Maharashtra: HM Rajesh Tope

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: On one side, when the second wave of coronavirus continues to claim lives, on the other side the cases of Mucormycosis or black fungus and deaths caused by it are rising rapidly in several states. Concerned over the developments, the Rajasthan government earlier in the day issued a notification declaring black fungus as an epidemic in the state.

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As of Wednesday, the state had nearly 100 cases of black fungus. However, experts are of opinion that the black fungus infection is primarily affecting people who are recovering from Covid-19.

What is Mucormycosis or black fungus?

As per health experts, Mucormycosis or black fungus is caused by a group of moulds known as mucormycetes present naturally in the environment. This spreads through the nose and affects other parts of the body such as the eyes. People with diabetes are said to be more vulnerable to the infection.

Apart from Rajasthan, black fungus cases have also been reported in states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana among others.

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Maharashtra: As many as 90 people have died of mucormycosis in Maharashtra so far, state public health minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday. He also warned against indiscriminate use of steroids to treat COVID-19 patients. “As many as 90 people have died of mucormycosis or Black Fungus in Maharashtra so far, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said. He said around 1,500 patients were found infected with mucormycosis in the state till date, out of which, around 850 are active patients receiving treatment.It is serious….it should not be taken lightly,” he told reporters. Compared to the first wave of coronavirus pandemic, there have been more cases of Black Fungus in the second wave, doctors have noted.

Haryana: As per news reports, five people have died due to black fungus in Sirsa district of Haryana. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the infection has become a matter of concern and directed officials to make necessary arrangements for its treatment. Black fungus, which is primarily affecting people recovering from COVID-19, has claimed five lives in the district in the past two days, Sirsa Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Manish Bansal said. He said 25 people from districts adjoining Sirsa were admitted to a hospital, of whom some were referred to other major health facilities.

Uttar Pradesh: Two cases of black fungus or mucormycosis were confirmed in UP’s Aligarh on Wednesday, a senior health official said. Of late, the disease has been reported among patients who are either recovering or have recovered from COVID-19. The first case was reported from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Government Hospital and the second one was found at a private hospital in Dhanipur locality on Tuesday.

Rajasthan: The black fungus has been declared an epidemic in Rajasthan. Currently, the state has around 100 black fungus patients and a separate ward has been made at Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in Jaipur for their treatment.

Uttarakhand: Uttarakhand reported its second black fungus or mucormycosis fatality with a 72-year-old woman dying at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh. The woman, who hailed from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, died during treatment on Tuesday, ENT surgeon Amit Tyagi, who leads a team of doctors attending on mucormycosis patients at the hospital, said. Meanwhile, five more patients with symptoms of black fungus have been admitted at the hospital, taking their number so far to 30 out of which two have died, Tyagi said.

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Five black fungus cases have aso been reported from the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, with one patient each found in Almora, Nainital and Pithoragarh and two in Udham Singh Nagar district. A total of 38 black fungus cases have been reported so far from Uttarakhand.

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