State has reported a significant drop in cases of Mucormycosis and fatalities caused by the rare but lethal disease, which the Jharkhand Cabinet notified as an epidemic last week, health officials said on Thursday.
As per figures with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Jharkhand has not reported fresh Mucormycosis-triggered casualties in the past fortnight.
The State has so far reported 26 Mucormycosis fatalities and the last casualty occurred on June 17. As many as seven confirmed and 11 suspected cases of the fungal infection have surfaced in the state in the past 14 days, indicating that cases of Black Fungus were gradually falling.
IDSP data highlights that the recovery rate for Mucormycosis has also jumped to almost 70 per cent from around 46 per cent a fortnight ago. Of the 86 confirmed cases of infection reported in the state, at least 60 patients have recovered, IDSP data reveals.
However, at least 64 people in the State were under observation for suspected Mucormycosis.
“The recovery rate has improved significantly, and the fatality rate too has dropped. We cannot afford complacency though as early diagnosis helps save a lot of lives and prevent complications,” said the nodal officer for health department’s Information, Education and Communication (IEC) wing, Dr. Siddharth Tripathi.
Mucormycosis, also called Black Fungus, is a rare infection caused by exposure to mucor mould found in soil, plants, manure and decaying fruits and vegetables. The line of treatment includes surgery and administering anti-fungal drugs, mostly Amphotericin B. Several thousand cases of Covid-induced Mucormycosis were reported in India in the past couple of months and doctors claimed that use of high dosage steroids for treatment of severely-ill Covid patients was one of the reasons for the spike.
Even though Mucormycosis cases and fatalities have dropped in the state, doctors warned against any complacency. Any person, especially Covid survivors and people with diabetes, experiencing symptoms of mucormycosis should immediately seek medical attention, doctors said.
“Symptoms of fever, nasal congestion, partial facial swelling should not be taken lightly by Covid survivors and diabetics,” said Dr. Anindya Anuradha, an Ophthalmologist treating Mucormycosis patients at Bhagwan Mahavir Medica Superspecialty Hospital in Ranchi.
As per records with the health department, Ranchi reported 31 confirmed cases of mucormycosis and eight fatalities — the highest in the state. East Singhbhum reported 20 cases and five casualties, while Dhanbad reported six cases and two deaths.
At least three of the four mucormycosis patients found in Ramgarh could not survive. Hazaribag also reported four cases and three casualties. Koderma and Bokaro reported three cases each.