First case of black fungus reported in Himachal Pradesh

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Shimla, May 20 (PTI) The first case of Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, in Himachal Pradesh has been detected in a 52-year-old woman from Hamirpur district, officials said on Thursday.

She is from Khagar and is undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) here, the hospitals' senior medical superintendent, Dr Janak Raj, said.

The woman was referred to the IGMC from Mandi's Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Hospital, Nerchowk, he added.

The patient's condition is stable, and Mucormycosis has been found near her nose, Raj said.

She also suffers from diabetes and blood pressure, he said, adding that she tested positive for COVID-19 on May 4.

The woman was referred from Hamirpur to the Nerchowk medical college after she complained of breathing problems on May 8, Raj said.

Meanwhile, the state's Special Secretary for Health, Nipun Jindal, said an advisory has already been issued regarding the prevention and management of black fungus disease in hospitals.

The director of Health Services (DHS) and the director of Medical Education (DME) have been asked to take stock of adequate antifungal drugs like amphotericin B at their respective institutions, he said.

The symptoms of black fungus include pain and redness around eyes or nose, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath and bloody vomits, Jindal added.

The special secretary further said blood sugar levels of diabetic patients should be controlled and steroids should not be used indiscriminately for treatment of COVID-19.

He also cautioned that masks should be washed regularly and ironed properly to ensure there is no fungus growing in it. PTI DJI IJT IJT

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