Kolkata, May 27 : With three more suspected deaths due to Mucormycosis, Black Fungus has started spreading its tentacles in West Bengal.
The state health department has said that presently 13 confirmed cases and 11 cases of suspected Mucormycosis have been detected in the state. So far two persons have died from the infection.
According to the bulletin published by the state health department, three persons who have died due to suspected Mucormycosis are from Alipurduar and Nadia.
“A 47-year-old female was admitted to a private nursing home in Alipurduar with symptoms of Black Fungus and later she died. The reports have been sent to the expert committee for analysis. Similarly, the reports of two other patients who died in private hospitals in Nadia and North 24 Parganas with suspected Black Fungus were sent to the committee,” the bulletin said.
The bulletin also confirmed one case of Mucormycosis from Pradhannagar in Darjeeling and is admitted in North Bengal Medical College. The patient is now undergoing treatment in North Bengal Medical College. The bulletin also said that five new cases of suspected Mucormycosis were found in the state taking the total number of suspected cases to 11.
Of the five new cases 2 were New Jalpaiguri, one in Nadia and Kolkata. One person from Jharkhand has also been detected with the infection. So far two deaths of confirmed Mucormycosis were reported in the state.
The state government has taken several steps to control the spread of the infection. Besides constituting an expert committee to deal with Black Fungus cases, the state health department has formulated an advisory, titled ‘Mucormycosis – if uncared for – may turn fatal’, for the common people.
The advisory mentioned warning signs of the disease such as pain and redness around eyes or nose, fever, headache, coughing and shortness of breath along with vomiting blood and “altered mental status” – general changes in brain function like confusion, amnesia, loss of alertness and disorientation.
Those having health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, suppression of the immune system by steroids, prolonged stay in ICU, comorbidities post-transplant and malignancy are prone to be attacked by the fungal disease, it said.
The advisory pointed out that nasal blockade or congestion, one-sided facial pain, numbness, blackish discolouration over bridge of nose or palate, toothache, loosening of teeth, blurred vision along with chest pain and worsening of respiratory symptoms are suspected signs of being infected by mucormycosis.
As people catch the infection by coming in contact with fungal spores in the environment, people have been cautioned against having exposure to decaying bread, fruits and vegetables, besides soil, compost and excreta.
“Wear shoes, long trousers, long sleeve shirts and gloves while handling soil gardening. People must maintain personal hygiene and thorough scrubbing is recommended while bathing,” the advisory said.