COVID-19 update | may 7 | 2021 | Third Wave May Not Happen If Strong Steps Taken: Scientific Advisor

COVID-19 update | may 7 | 2021 | Third Wave May Not Happen If Strong Steps Taken: Scientific Advisor

Covid third wave may not happen if we take strong measures: Govt's top scientific  advisor

New Delhi: Two days after warning that the third wave of Covid is inevitable, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, K. VijayRaghavan on Friday stepped back, saying that it may not happen if strong steps and measures are taken.

Addressing the Union Health Ministry press briefing, he said: “If we take strong steps and measures, the third wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere at all.

“It all depends on how much the guidelines are effectively implemented at local level.”

Asked about reports of mucormycosis among Covid-19 patients, NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, Prof V.K. Paul said: “Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) is detected mostly in diabetic patients. We want to reassure that there is no major outbreak and we are doing proper surveillance of the situation.”

He pointed out that there are three factors triggering this fungal infection: uncontrolled diabetes, immunosuppression because of steroids or any other disease and exposure to a wet surface.

“Mucormycosis is absolutely preventable and if one’s diabetes is under control, there is no reason to worry,” Paul said.

Meanwhile, Additional Secretary, Health, Arti Ahuja said: “States and UTs, including Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, are showing early signs of plateauing or decrease in daily new Covid cases.”

About vaccine coverage, she said: “So far, a total 16.50 crore doses have been administered across all eligible categories. Over 12.66 crore people above 45 years have administered vaccines. 1,59 health care workers, 2.13 crore frontline workers and 11.81 lakh people aged between 18 to 44 years have been administered vaccines.”

As per government data, there are 24 states where the positivity rate is more than 15 per cent, nine states have a positivity rate between five to 15 per cent and three states have a positivity rate less than five per cent. The country is reporting daily new cases growth rate of one per cent in the last seven days.

Twelve states/UTs have more than one lakh active cases, seven states and UTs have 50,000 to one lakh active cases, and 17 have less than 50,000 active cases.


Coronavirus updated | 2021 | May 7 | ALERT For COVID19 Patients: Black Fungal Infections can Turn Dangerous If Left Untreated

Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, can turn dangerous if left untreated, doctors said on Friday amid reports of re-emergence of the rare deadly fungal infection among Covid-19 patients.

New Delhi: Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, can turn dangerous if left untreated, doctors said on Friday amid reports of re-emergence of the rare deadly fungal infection among Covid-19 patients across hospitals in Delhi, Pune and Ahmedabad.

The fungal infection is caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment. Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.

The common symptoms associated with the disease include headache, facial pain, nasal congestion, loss of vision or pain in eyes, swelling in cheeks and eyes and black crusts in the nose. The US Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention estimates Mucormycosis with an overall all-cause mortality rate of 54 per cent.

“Mucormycosis can be very dangerous if left untreated can cause mutilating damage to face, nose, eyes with disfigurement and loss of vision and also cause invasive brain infection,” Dr. Mahesh Kumar, Consultant -Internal Medicine, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru, told IANS.

While “Aspergillus and Candida are more common fungal infections, but this infection is dangerous because it involves the sinus and brain and happens to those who are in an immunocompromised state and/or to patients on steroids,” added Dr Vikas Maurya, Director and HOD, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.

According to health experts, Mucormycosis (previously called zygomycosis) has been a cause of disease and death in transplants, ICU and immunodeficient individuals since long. However, it is the rapid increase in numbers seen in unsuspected Covid patients which is a matter of grave concern. Patients who recover from the Covid infection are increasingly being pushed back into the ICUs. Last year, Mucormycisis had caused high mortality with many patients suffering from loss of eyesight, removal of nose and jawbone.

“Mucormycosis is affecting Covid patients more due to prolonged administration of steroids and subsequent immunocompromised state,” Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Department of Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo hospital, New Delhi, told IANS.

“In Covid, patients get steroids and immunity goes down and they may get this infection,” Maurya said.

People with diabetes, those on steroids and humidified oxygen for a long time, and Covid patients with pre-existing comorbidities are the most at risk. Others include patients like those post chemotherapies, those on long-term immunosuppressive drugs.

The Drug Controller General of India, in March this year, gave approval to Mumbai-based bio-pharmaceutical firm Bharat Serums and Vaccines Limited to use anti-fungal medication — Liposomal Amphotericin B or LAmB — as a medical intervention in patients of Mucormycosis.

The risk of this fungus can be avoided by avoiding prolonged use of steroids. The treatment also involves anti-fungal and surgery (if required) to remove the affected area, Chatterjee said.

Judicious use of steroids and immunosuppressive drugs especially in elderly, immunocompromised, cancer and diabetic patients with Covid, are needed during the course of treatment, Kumar advised.