State sees dip in mucormycosis cases

Bengaluru government hospitals see zero admission in the last two days

With the second wave of COVID-19 subsiding, Karnataka is also witnessing a steady decline in mucormycosis cases. The State that added a total of 207 mucormycosis cases since July 5, has recorded only 51 cases in the last six days. Besides, there have been zero admissions in Bengaluru’s designated government hospitals in the last two days.

As of Monday, the State has 3,588 cases of which 313 patients succumbed to the fungal infection. Bengaluru Urban, which contributes 31.8% (1,143) of the total caseload, reported 108 deaths.

Kalaburagi, Dakshina Kannada, and Davangere follow Bengaluru Urban with 23, 21, and 20 deaths respectively. In terms of cases, Dharwad and Vijayapura are behind Bengaluru Urban with 281 and 220 cases respectively.

Of the 1,143 cases in Bengaluru Urban, 589 are those being treated in designated government hospitals – 208 at Victoria Hospital, 375 at Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, four at K.C. General, two at Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, and the remaining in private hospitals.

Greater awareness

Doctors, who attributed the fall in mucormycosis cases to the steady decline in new COVID-19 cases, said there is greater awareness about the post-COVID complication now.

“Overuse, misuse and rampant use of steroids in the treatment of COVID-19 patients is one of the main reasons for mucormycosis. With greater awareness, steroids are now being used judiciously. Moreover, patients are now reporting early and hence, the recovery rate of mucormycosis has also increased,” said K. Bhujang Shetty, chairman of Narayana Nethralaya, who is part of the State’s expert committee on mucormycosis.

Bengaluru Urban district surgeon Ansar Ahmed, who is also the Medical Superintendent of Epidemic Diseases Hospital on Old Madras Road, said the designated government facilities for mucormycosis in Bengaluru had seen zero admissions and deaths in the last two days.

“In June, mucormycosis patients were struggling to find beds due to the high number of cases reported on a daily basis. However, following intensified awareness by the Health Department, rampant use of steroids and antibiotics has reduced now,” he said.

Sujatha B.L. Rathod, director of the State-run Minto Eye Hospital, who is also part of the expert committee, said the situation started stabilising since the beginning of July.

“The number of new cases that had reduced to 2-3 a day then have now further reduced. Victoria Hospital that treats COVID-19 positive patients with mucormycosis has only nine in- patients now,” she said.

Manoj Kumar H.V., Dean and Director of Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, which was the first designated hospital in the State for mucormycosis, said the number of in-patients had come down from 214 last week to 104.

This hospital has been treating mucormycosis in post-COVID-19 patients. “We have shifted all the 104 to Charaka Hospital and have converted this ward for treatment of non-COVID-19 patients,” he added.

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