A 40-year-old patient who was confirmed with Mucormycosis also known as 'Black Fungus' following his recovery from COVID19 died at the Government Medical College Jammu on Friday afternoon.
This is the first death of any patient suffering from 'Black Fungus' in Jammu and Kashmir.
"He died at around 1:30 pm," a doctor said.
The doctor said that the deceased, a resident of Poonch, had been tested COVID19 negative in both Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR tests, following his recovery from COVID19.
The patient was undergoing treatment at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) Jammu and a team of senior doctors was monitoring him, said a senior official. "The skin on the right side of the patient's face and his one eye had turned black," the official said.
"The patient was suffering from Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) because of uncontrolled steroid induced diabetic Ketoacidosis as a post-COVID19 complication. He was brought to the GMC Emergency for his treatment two days back, and the Department of Microbiology confirmed that he had black fungus," Principal GMC Jammu Dr Shashi Sudhan told the Greater Kashmir. The Principal further said that the patient was weak, and his blood sugar level was 900 due to long term use of steroid drugs.
Dr Sudhan said: "This is an avoidable complication that can be restricted by strictly monitoring the blood sugar levels of the COVID19 patients put on steroids." "However, Mucormycosis is not a communicable disease and the spores of an opportunistic fungus known as Mucor which are in plenty in air may start germinating in the eyes and the nasal mucosa and start penetrating the eyeballs, brain, sinuses brain and facial bones necessitating excision," Dr Sudhan said. "We should control the underlying disease like in this particular case in which the patient's sugar level was very high. There is no need to isolate black fungus cases, but there is a need to control the underlying disease," added the Principal. She told the media that the chances of fungal infection are more in excessive treatments like uncontrollable diabetics, anti-cancer treatment or organ transplant cases etc. in which the immune system is compromised and it increases chances of opportunistic infections.