Guwahati: A COVID-19 recovered patient died of black fungus infection, the first such case reported in Assam, at a private hospital in Guwahati on Wednesday, officials said.
The 27-year-old male patient was admitted to the hospital on May 16 in a critical condition and he had all the symptoms of black fungus infection, the hospital said in a statement.
It said that the person hailing from Nagaon district had diabetes and tested positive for COVID-19 on May 6, following which he was admitted to a Covid care centre in the district.
“Subsequently, he tested Rapid Antigen Test negative on 12th May 2021 and was discharged from the centre. From 15th May 2021, he developed decreased vision in both eyes and other post-Covid complications at his home,” the statement said.
The patient was brought to the emergency of the hospitals on May 16 “in a very critical state” and was admitted in the ICU.
“In spite of the best efforts by the clinical team, the patient expired at 6 am,” the statement added.
When contacted, a senior official of the hospital told PTI that enough symptoms of black fungus infection like black patches on the face and loss of vision were there with the patient when he arrived.
“Clinically speaking, we can say that the patient had black fungus. But we can say it definitely only after studying the fungal culture. His samples have been sent for testing and it will take around four days for the report to come,” he added.
A senior official of the Directorate of Health Services said that the government does not have any data as of now on black fungus infection as it has not been made a “notified disease” in the state.
“We are working on this and there is no need to panic.
We have enough stock of medicines in the state to treat the infection,” the official told PTI.
Mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by a fungal infection. People catch the infection by coming in contact with fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn or other types of skin trauma.
It can affect areas from where it can be inhaled — through the nose, sinus, or lungs. If it enters from a wound or skin, it can cause local infection, but if it enters from the sinus, it can affect the eyes and brain.
Meanwhile, a government release said the Health Department has instructed a team of medical experts to study the development related to black fungus in the state and submit a report by Wednesday night.
“We will issue necessary directives after receiving the report. We are very serious about infection by black fungus and keeping a close watch. I request the public not to panic as black fungus is not a communicable disease,” Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said.
Assam’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 2433 after 89 more people succumbed to the disease on Wednesday, while 6,143 new cases of infection pushed the tally to 3,47,001, the National Health Mission said.