Black Fungus Epidemic Raises Alarm in India

Indian authorities are now closely monitoring the outbreak of a rare fungal disease among Covid-19 patients that is putting further strain on the country’s healthcare system.

Capital New Delhi will now set up hospital wards dedicated for the treatment of mucormycosis, known as “black fungus.”

Covid-19 patients with diabetes and weak immune systems have been affected by the outbreak as Maharashtra reported more than 2,000 cases.

More than 7,000 cases have been reported across the country, with over 200 deaths, the Hindustan Times reported.

The disease causes symptoms such as blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing up blood.

Experts suspect that steroid treatments for Covid-19 patients could have contributed to the rise in mucormycosis cases because it lowers immunity and boosts sugar levels.

The Centre has also called for states to declare an epidemic under the Epidemic Diseases Act for stricter monitoring of cases.

Several states have now declared the black fungus outbreak as an epidemic including Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Gujarat.

The government said it has now taken steps to ramp up production of Amphotericin-B to treat the disease.

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