An ENT doctor at the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH), Peshawar, has warned that the spread of Black Fungus disease among COVID-19 patients may occur due to the use of substandard and poorly-cleaned oxygen cylinders.
The ENT doctor in a letter to the Board of Governors (BoG) of KTH, penned that 12 cases of Sinusitis have been reported in the last two months. Sinusitis is one of the early symptoms of the disease in which severe sinus pain is caused by inflammation or swelling of tissues lining the sinuses.
2 patients out of the 12 had contracted Black Fungus from insanitary oxygen cylinders while recovering from COVID-19 infection. BoG of KTH was called upon by the ENT doctor to ensure oxygen cylinders are properly cleaned to remove the spores of Black Fungus from their bases.
On the other hand, the provincial health department was ordered by the Health Secretary KP, Imtiaz Shah to ensure complete cleansing of all oxygen cylinders at both public and private hospitals across the province. Black Fungus is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes and is a rare but fungal infection. COVID-19 patients who have a prolonged ICU stay and have underlying health issues such as diabetes are affected by the infection.
Sinus pain or nasal blockage on one side of the face, one-sided headache, swelling or numbness, toothache, and loosening of teeth are a few of the early symptoms of mucormycosis. Black Fungus causes blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and coughing of blood. These symptoms are strongly linked with diabetes which can be exacerbated by the use of steroids used to treat severe COVID-19 such as dexamethasone..