In a first, two children in Karnataka have been affected with mucormycosis also known as black fungus. A 14-year-old boy from Chitradurga and a 11-year-old girl from Ballari district have reportedly been infected with black fungus after they contracted the coronavirus. Both of them are children of farm labourers and were reportedly unaware of having contracted the coronavirus. “Two children are undergoing treatment for the black fungus infection at Government Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospitals. They are suffering from Acute Juvenile Diabetes (AJD),” a senior health official told PTI. Both the patients are said to be in critical condition and could lose at least one of their eyes, reported The Hindu.
Both the children have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and the black fungus infection has spread to their brain and eyes, say the doctors treating them. The girl who was being treated in Ballari had developed pain in her eyes before she was brought to the Bowring Hospital. The boy was being treated in Tumakuru after he developed fever and was shifted to Bowring after the doctors treating him suspected black fungus.
These are the first cases of mucormycosis being reported in children in Karnataka. Karnataka has reported 1250 cases of mucormycosis. 39 patients have lost their lives to the fungal disease even as18 of them have recovered. A total of 1,193 patients are currently under treatment for mucormycosis in Karnataka. Bengaluru Urban district has reported the maximum number of cases with 521 cases of the infection.
Mucormycosis is being detected in patients who have recovered from the coronavirus. Patients suffering from diabetes have been particularly susceptible to the black fungus. It is ‘angioinvasive’, which means that the fungus enters and blocks the blood vessels and cuts off blood supply to the tissue. When blood supply is cut off, the tissue dies and turns black – giving the infection its colloquial name – ‘black fungus’.
Read- ‘Black fungus’ or Mucormycosis: Here are three signs to watch out for
Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar has urged doctors and patients to not use steroids in the first week of treatment of the coronavirus to avoid mucormycosis. Sudhakar has said that the state has received around 10,000 vials of amphotericin-B drug, the drug used in treating mucormycosis from the Union Government. He also informed reporters that Union Minister and MP from Karnataka Sadananda Gowda is in talks with eight companies for medicines to treat mucormycosis.
Watch TNM video on what black fungus is and what you need to be aware of: