Odisha reports first recovery of black fungus patient

Odisha reports first recovery of black fungus patient

BHUBANESWAR: Amid the rising mucormycosis (black fungus) cases across the country, Odisha on Tuesday reported the recovery of a patient from the deadly disease. The 44-year-old man from Ganjam is the first to recover from the disease in the state.

Doctors at SUM Ultimate Medicare treated the patient who was diagnosed with black fungus nearly five days after his recovery from Covid-19, by opting for the surgical route. The affected areas were removed leaving no scar on his face.

“The disease involved the nasal cavity, maxilla, premaxillary area, infra-temporal fossa, and the orbit for which endoscopic debridement with orbital decompression was done. The patient was under antifungal therapy and he retained vision in the affected eye,” said Head of ENT and Skull Base Surgery in the hospital Dr Radhamadhab Sahu.

A diabetic, the patient was admitted to SUM Covid Hospital for 10 days before being discharged following his recovery from Covid-19. He was treated with steroids to deal with his respiratory problems. Five days after his discharge, he developed numbness, swelling on the left side of his face, and edema in the eye with an enlarged eyeball. Medical investigation reports showed evidence of mucormycosis.

“As the proper drug (liposomal Amphotericin B ) to treat the patient was not available in the market, conventional Amphotericin B was administered and the surgery planned. He has been discharged from the hospital,” said Dr Sahu. Since the mortality rate in black fungus is very high (around 50 per cent in recovered Covid cases), timely diagnosis and early intervention could save the patient, he added.

So far, 38 black fungus cases have been detected in the State and among them four have succumbed and one recovered. The mucormycosis has been declared as a notifiable disease by the State government.
However, Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohapatra said no one has died of black fungus. The four died due to heart attack, brain hemorrhage and sepsis. “A task force has been constituted to monitor the cases and as per the recommendation of experts a treatment protocol communicated to all hospitals,” he said.

While 128 vials of Amphotericin B are available, Mohapatra said, 5000 more vials have been requisitioned and all the MCHs and DHHs instructed to open dedicated wards for both Covid positive and non-Covid patients for treatment of mucormycosis by next Friday.

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