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Pune district has most number of “black fungus” cases in state – 1,216

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

As per the state health department, Pune district has reported 371 new mucormycosis cases, which takes the progressive count of these “black fungus” cases in the district to 1,216; the highest in any district in the state. A week ago, the district’s count stood at 845 cases.

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Mucormycosis, a fungal infection, has become a problem for the country, with those having recovered from Covid-19 being affected the most.

As of Monday, the state has reported a total of 7,359 mucormycosis cases, of which 16.52% of the cases are from Pune district alone.

As per the state mucormycosis report, a week ago, Pune had the second-most number of mucormycosis cases, at 845. With more than 300 new cases since, the district now has the highest number of fungal infection cases in the state. Pune is followed by Nagpur with 1,184 cases.

Of the 1,216 mucormycosis cases reported in the district, 253 have been cured, 85 deaths have been reported, and 875 are active cases undergoing treatment. Three patients took a discharge against medical advice.

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Pune has reported over a million progressive Covid-19 cases as of Monday, which could possibly have resulted in the higher number of mucormycosis cases say experts.

Dr Rohini Kelkar, consultant, Clinical Microbiologist and Specialist at Metropolis Healthcare, said, “There has been a surge in the number of Covid cases in Pune because of the second wave of the pandemic. Mucorales are ubiquitous and the spores are found in the environment in decaying vegetable matter, in outdoor air, and in air-conditioning ventilation systems. We inhale thousands of spores daily. The factors that allow the fungus to cause infection in “Rhino-orbito-cerebral” mucormycosis are diabetes in two-thirds of the cases, steroid treatment in 80% and Covid alone in 33% of the cases.”

“The incidence of this infection is 70 times higher in India and the fungus is resistant to high temperatures. There are 38 species of Mucorales that cause infection. The common fungus in this instance is Rhizopus arrhizus. The other common agents are Rhizomucor, Leichthemia, Apophysomyces , Saksenaea and Cuninghamella,” she said.

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