Black Fungus cases rise in Bengaluru, city faces shortage of hospital beds

Black Fungus cases rise in Bengaluru, city faces shortage of hospital beds

Treating mucormycosis, better known as black fungus, requires at least 2 weeks of hospital care.

Bengaluru, already reeling under the second wave of coronavirus in Karnataka, now has another serious problem that has led to a shortage of hospital beds. The Karnataka capital has recently seen a surge in Black Fungus among COVID-19 patients. As a result, majority of hospitals that had reserved beds particularly for treating such patients are now running full and many of those who are turning up at OPDs are now being sent back without treatment, a report stated.

Treating mucormycosis, better known as black fungus, requires at least 2 weeks of hospital care. With more than 8,000 cases across the country, the Centre has asked all states and UTs to declare the fungal spread as a notifiable disease under the epidemic act.

In Bengaluru, more than 80 cases of black fungus were recorded at Minto Eye Hospital, according to a Times of India report. Of these, 50 were admitted to OPDs whereas the rest of the patients were referred to other hospitals due to lack of beds.

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However, black fungus did not just affect COVID patients. Among the second group, included two patients – a woman who was self-isolating due to COVID-19 infection and a 24-year-old cancer patient who had no history of coronavirus, the TOI report stated.

Similarly, at St John’s Medical College Hospital, 53 patients were receiving treatment for mucormycosis. However, the hospital has now stopped taking new admissions as hospital beds are full. “We are in a very tough situation, and our surgeons are performing back-to-back operations. Currently, we are unable to admit any more patients for black fungus treatment. We are helpless,” Dr Sanjiv Lewin, the chief of medical services at the hospital told TOI.

Black Fungus generally affects COVID-19 recovered patients who have other comorbidities like diabetes, kidney or heart failure, cancer as well as patients who are on steroids or have had a transplant. With coronavirus itself directly affecting immunity levels along with steroid treatment where necessary, black fungus has become a serious infection affecting COVID patients, especially in the severe second wave.

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