New Delhi has set up special wards at three hospitals to cope with increased black fungus cases.
Hospitals in India are flooded with more than 200 black fungus patients in New Delhi hospitals, with dozens on waiting lists for beds, according to media reports.
The IT hub of Bangalore opened special wards on Wednesday which filled within hours, doctors said.
Anti-fungal drugs are the newest shortage to hit India’s strained health system and social media has been flooded with requests from relatives of Mucormycosis sufferers pleading for help to find medicine.
Black fungus is caused by organisms called mucormycetes, which can enter the body through breathing or skin injuries.
These organisms are naturally present in soil and decaying organic matter, but once inside the humans, they can infect air pockets behind the forehead, nose, cheekbones, and between the eyes and teeth.
Some doctors are claiming that there has been panic use of steroids to combat Covid-19 which has facilitated the spread of black fungus rapidly.
“Indiscriminate use of steroids to treat Covid-19 patients should be avoided,” Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope.
Other doctors stated that the unhygienic conditions in some hospitals when putting coronavirus patients on oxygen cylinders has allowed black fungus to take hold of patients.
Whereas Coronavirus patients with diabetes with a weakened immune system are particularly prone to attack.
Many of the drugs used to fight the coronavirus overpower the body’s immune system that would normally ward off a fungal infection.
What are the symptoms of ‘black fungus’?
The disease has been named “black fungus” because it causes blackening or discoloration over the nose.
The disease may also cause blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and coughing blood.
The deadly disease kills more than 50% of patients within days and, in some cases, surgeons have removed eyes and upper jaws to prevent the spread of the disease.
On the contrary, India has reported 276,110 new coronavirus infections over the previous 24 hours. The number of deaths surged by 3,874 overnight, taking the total to 287,122.
India’s coronavirus caseload stands at 25.77 million, the world’s second-highest after the US. Some health experts warn infections and deaths could be five to 10 times higher.